Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Portland, Oregon"

See other formats


of the 

Ohio State University 

Presented by 

Mrs* Mary Stowb ridge 













Meston-Dygert Book Mfg. Co., 


Portland, Oregon. 


Hitherto there has been no attempt to write a History of Portland. 
Slight sketches of the history of the city have, indeed, been written, 
but nothing that answers to the importance of the subject has here- 
tofore been undertaken. For conception and execution of the 
present work the city is indebted to D. Mason & Co., a firm of enter- 
prising publishers of Syracuse, New York. Learning that no general 
history of Portland had yet appeared, these publishers offered to 
undertake the work and to collect the materials for it. Aware, how- 
ever, that it was necessary that these materials should be subjected 
to local editorial supervision, they requested me to perform that duty. 
Though my own daily employments were very exacting, I consented 
to do so. The result is now submitted to the public. 

My own work therefore has been that of editor rather than author. 
Some parts of the book I have written, and all of it, except portions 
of the biographical matter, I have revised with as much diligence as 
possible. Yet I cannot hope that the book is free from errors. Much 
has been handed down from memory, and inaccuracies therefore are 

Acknowledgments are due chiefly to O. F. Vedder, H. S. Lyman 
and C. H. Carey for the matter of this volume. All these have worked 
diligently in collection and preparation of the materials. The bio- 
graphical matter has been contributed by many hands, and Mr. Vedder 
has bestowed much labor upon it. The special work of Mr. Carey 
is the important and exhaustive chapter on "Bench and Bar n . Mr, 

6 Preface. 

Lyman's work runs through a large part of the historical matter. 
The first chapter, which is devoted to the "Early History of Oregon", 
an excellent specimen of condensed historical writing, is chiefly by 
Mr. Vedder. 

In preparation of a work of this kind it is easy to realize how 
much matter that we would have been glad to obtain has now forever 
escaped even the most active and diligent research. Yet a paragraph 
at the close of the history may be properly repeated here, namely : 
"This history of Portland is the product of research and labor extended 
in all directions that promised results; it is probably as complete as 
any that is likely to be prepared, and yet not so complete by any 
means as it would be, were it practicable to gather, to sift and to 
compare all facts of interest that are yet retained in the memory of 
living persons or set down in documents remaining in private hands. 
Unfortunately, the mass of these materials is beyond the reach of 
those who undertake to prepare a work like this, and writers or editor 
must be content with such records and recollections as can be gathered 
by diligence, through knowing that more has been missed than 
obtained. ' ' 

Yet it is believed that we have here a history sufficiently full and 

accurate for preservation to future times of an intelligible account of 

the origin of Portland and of its growth to the proportions of a city. 

H. W. Scott, 
Portland, June 1st, 1890. 






Voyages and Discoveries Along the North Pacific Coast — Conflicting Claims 
of Various Nations to the Country — Expeditions of Lewis and Clarke — 
Contest for Possession of the Country — Early Settlements — Efforts of 
Americans to Establish Trading Posts — John Jacob Astor and Astoria — 
Growth, Power and Purposes of British Fur Companies — Period of Joint 
Occupancy of the Territory — Oregon in Control of Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany — Efforts to Secure American Settlers — Labors of Bonneville, 
Wyeth and Kelley —Advent of the Missionaries — Their Influence in Be- 
half of American Interests — Arrival of the Home Builders— Establish- 
ment of a Civil Government — Value of the Labor of the Oregon Pio- 
neers — Creation of Oregon Territory 15 



The Modern City— A More Perfect Adaptation to Human Wants — Value of the 
Records of Such a City as Portland — Geographical Position — At the In- 
tersection of the Great Natural Lines of Travel and Commerce of the 
Northwest Pacific Coast — Topography — Extent and Beauty of Surface — 
Natural Advantages for Commerce, for Manufacturing, for Residence — 
The Natural Center of the North Pacific Coast 53 




Portland Antedated by other Cities on the Willamette and Columbia— Efforts 
to Find a Commercial Center— William Overton the First Owner— Gen. 
A. L. Lovejoy — Francis W. Pettygrove — The First Cabin— Name Be- 
stowed—Site Platted— Daniel H. Lownsdale— Stephen Coffin— William 
W. Chapman — Depletion by the Rush to the . Gold Fields — Return of 
Pioneers— New Comers — Improvements — First Newspaper — Opening 
of the Plank Road — Purchase of the Steamship Gold Hunter — List 
of the Business Houses and of Residences Prior to 1851 



Measures Taken by Proprietors to Protect Land Purchasers' Rights — The 
Three Causes of Litigation — Legal Points in the Stark vs. Starr Case — 
Decision of the Courts — Causes of Litigation Over the Lownsdale Estate 
—Final Settlement of the Case in the United States Circuit Court — 
Decision of Judge Saw T yer and Concurrent Opinion of Judge Deady — 
Public Levee Case — Grounds of Private and Municipal Claims to the 
River Front — How the City's Rights were Lost — Legal History of the 
Caruthers' Claim 117 



Appearance of the City in 1850— The First Brick Building — Brick Buildings 
Erected from 1850 to 1860— List of Buildings in 1855— Portland Dur- 
ing the Indian War of 1855 and '56 — Rapid Growth in 1862 — Increase 
in Population and Wealth — Improvement and Growth from Year to 
Year — Present Development and Importance of Portland 139 



Charter of 1851— Its Provisions and Amendments — Charter of 1872 — Charter 
of 1882 — Police Department — Fire Department — Health Department- - 
Water Works — Public Buildings— Biographical Sketches of Mayors — 
List of City Officials from 1851 to 1890 176 




Primitive Commerce — Commercial Operations of Hudson's Bay Company — 
Trade Enterprises of Hall J. Kelley, Nathaniel J. Wyeth and Nathanial 
Crosby — Period of Commercial Adventurers — Discovery of Gold and its 
Effects on Commerce — Early Trade in Lumber — Portland a Market for 
Oregon Produce — Early Sailing Vessels Which Visited Portland — 
Beginning of Steam Navigation — Character and Value of Portland's 
Exports from 1855 to 1865 — Steamships Running to Portland from 
1864 to 1869— Value of Portland's Exports in 1866 and 1867— Meas- 
ures Which Secured Portland's Commercial Independence — Growth of 
Foreign Commerce — Trade Statistics for 1870 — Period of Business 
Depression— Commercial Growth and Development During Recent 
Years— Present Character and Condition of Portland's Commerce 212 



Oregon Pioneer Ship Builders and River Navigators — Col. Nesmith's Account 
of Early Navigation on the Columbia and Willamette — Judge Strong's 
Review of the Growth and Development of Oregon Steamship Compan- 
ies — Names and Character of Early Steamships and the Men Who Ran 
Them- --List of the Steamers Built by the Peoples' Transportation, Ore- 
gon Steam Navigation and Oregon Railway and Navigation Com- 
panies — Independent Vessels and Their Owners 248 



Portland's Advantages as a Railroad Center — Early Struggles for a Railroad 
— Curious Features of the Contest — -Labors of Simon G. Elliott, George 
H. Belden, Col. Charles Belden and Joseph Gaston — First Survey by 
Barry and Gaston — Report by Col. Barry — Provisions of the First 
Railroad Bill Passed by the Oregon Legislature and United States 
Congress — The Importance of Provisions Suggested by Col. W. W. 
Chapman — Organization of the First Railroad Company in Oregon — 
Formation of a Rival Company — Contest over the Land Grant — Inter- 
esting Ceremonies in Connection with Commencement of Construction 
of the West Side Road — Progress of the Work — Bitter Warfare between 
the Two Companies- -The Fight Carried into the Courts — The Legal 
Aspect of the Contest — Advent of Ben Holladay — His Character and 
Methods— Efforts to Build to the Atlantic States— Labors of Col. Chap- 
man — Henry Villard and the Northern Pacific— The Southern Pacific — 
Prominent Railroad Managers of Portland — The Narrow Gauge System 261 

10 Contents. 



Conditions Which Cause the Growth of Manufacturing at Portland— Charac- 
ter of Early Manufactures— Present Condition and Magnitude of Man- 
ufacturing Enterprises of Portland . .• 299 



Oregon Under Canadian Laws — Efforts of the American Settlers to Organize 
a Judiciary — Peculiar and Comical Features of their Proceedings — The 
first Judiciary System — Re-organization of the Judiciary by the Provi- 
sional Legislature of 1845— Early Judges and xAttorneys— Manner of 
Adopting the Laws of Iowa — Status of the Courts Prior to Territorial 
Government — First Court House at Portland — Establishment of Office 
of Recorder, and Other City Judicial Offices — List of Recorders, City 
Attorneys, Police Judges and Justices of Peace — Re-organization of the 
Judicial System after the Creation of Oregon Territory — Incidents in the 
Administration of Justice During Territorial Period — First term of the 
Supreme Court — Organization of Multnomah County Court — Sketches 
of Leading Attorneys of Portland Prior to 1855— Interesting Cases be- 
fore the Supreme Court — Organization of the United States District 
Court — Portland Attorneys after the Admission of Oregon as a State — 
Re-organization of the Judicial System of the State in 1878— Judges 
who have Served in Portland and Multnomah County Cotirts — Cases of 
Historic Importance Tried Before Portland Courts — United States vs. 
Randall — The Holladay Cases — List of Attorneys Who Have Practiced 
at the Portland Bar 308 



Methodist, Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Jew- 
ish, Unitarian, Lutheran, German Reformed and Christian Churches — 
Ladies' Relief Society — Children's Home— German Benevolent Asso- 
ciation—Boys' and Girls' Aid Society— City Board of Charities — 
Portland Woman's Union — Kindergarten Association — Oregon Humane 
Society— Portland Seaman's Friend Society —St. Vincent's Hospital- 
Good Samaritan Hospital— Portland Hospital 344 

Contents. 11 



First Schools in Portland and their Conductors— Early Advocates of Free 
Schools— Growth and Development of the System— Central School- 
Park School— Harrison Street School- -Atkinson School— High School 
—Couch and Failing Schools —Course of Study Pursued in Public 
Schools— Plan and System of Management— Names of Teachers— City 
School Officers from 1856 to 1890— Portland Academy and Female 
Institute — St. .Mary's Academy — Bishop Scott Academy — St. Helen's 
Hall — St. Michael's College— Independent German School — Interna- 
tional Academy— Medical Colleges- Business Colleges 379 



nearly Banks — Causes Which Stimulated the Growth of Banking Interests — 
Financial Condition of Portland Banks — Ladd & Tilton — First National 
Bank — Bank of British Columbia — Oregon and Washington Mortgage 
Bank — Portland Savings' Bank — London and San Francisco Bank — 
Merchants' National Bank — Oregon National Bank— Portland National 
Bank — Ainsworth National Bank — Commercial National Bank — North- 
west Loan and Trust Company — Portland Trust Company — Northwest 
Fire and Marine Insurance Company — Pacific Fire Insurance Company 403 



Early Efforts to Start a Newspaper — Growth and Progress of the Oregonian — 
The Evening Telegram — The Western Star — Democratic Standard — 
Portland Daily News — Pacific Christian Advocate — Daily Evening 
Tribune — Oregon Herald — Portland Daily Bulletin — Daily Bee — Daily 
Evening Journal— Evening Post — Northwest News — Oregon Deutsch 
Zeitung—Staats Zeitung — Freie Press — List of Newspapers which 
Appeared from 1870 to 1880— Catholic Sentinel— The New Northwest 
— Portland Journal of Commerce — North Pacific Rural Spirit— East 
Portland Papers— The West Shore— Sunday Mercury— Sunday Wel- 
come — Pacific Express — Oregon Times— The World — Newspaper Mor- 
tuary Record from 1880 to 1890 413 

12 Contents. 



Present Appearance of Portland— View from River and Hills —Prominent 
Buildings— Character of Streets— Albina— Parks— Exposition Building 
—Chinese Quarters— Hotel Portland—East Portland— Cemeteries- 
Casualties of Nature — Floods and Fires 4-26 



The Cosmopolitan Character of Portland— Changing Character of its Early 
Population — Their Vices and Habits — Moral and Social Conditions of 
Early Days — General Stability of Present Society — Culture and Refine- 
ment of the People — Public Amusements — Excursions, Public Festiv- 
ities and Celebrations— Events Connected with „ Celebration of the 
Completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad 451 


Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens 470 




Alisky, C. A facing 560 

Bellinger, Charles B facing 322 

Bronough, Earl C facing 548 

Chapman, Col. W. W facing 22 

Corbett, Henry W facing 58 

Coulter, Samuel facing 400 

Deady , Matthew P facing 70 

Dekum, Frank facing 202 

De Lashmutt, Van B facing 410 

Dodd, Charles H facing 424 

Dolph, Cyrus A facing 342 

Dudley, W. L facing 622 

Durand, B facing 637 

Earhart, Rockey P facing 484 

Failing, Henry . facing 118 

Fleischner, Lewis facing 214 

Gill, J. K facing 506 

Glisan, Dr. Rodney facing 286 

Green, Henry D facing 250 

Hawthorne, Dr. J. C facing 274 

Henrichsen, L. C facing 588 

Hirsch, Solomon facing 166 

Holman, j. D facing 142 

Holmes, Thomas J facing 366 

Jacobs, R facing 542 

Jeffery, Edward J facing 490 

Johnson, A. H facing 562 

Jones, Dr. Henry E facing 376 

Kamm, Jacob facing 528 

Kelly, James K facing 1 78 

Killin, Benton facing 566 

Klosterman, John facing 572 

Ladd, W. S facing 46 

Lotan, James facing 570 

Lownsdale, D. H facing 34 

TvOwusdale, J. P. O facing 226 

Mackenzie, Dr. K. A. j facing 616 

Macleay, Donald facing 436 

Mallory, Rufus facing 388 

Markle, George B facing 630 

Marquam, P. A facing 190 

Mitchell, John H facing 262 

Montgomery , J. B facing 448 

Moreland, J C facing 334 

Morey, P. F facing 554 

Noon, W. C facing 586 

Northrup, E. J facing 354 

Northup, Henry H facing 498 

Oatman, Harrison B facing 460 

Reed, S. G facing 130 

Reid, William facing 612 

Saylor, Dr. W. H facing 568 

Scott, Harvey W facing 154 

Smith, J. S facing 106 

Smith, Charles J facing 570 

Spaulding, W. W facing 520 

Staver, George W facing 634 

Steel, George A facing 476 

Steel, James facing 298 

Strong, William facing 94 

Strowbridge, J. A facing 238 

Therkelsen, L. W facing 584 

Thompson, H. Y facing 534 

Weinhard, Henry facing 638 

Wiberg, Charles M facing 514 

Williams, George H facing 82 

Williams, Richard facing 310 

Woodward, Tyler facing 468 

Zan, Frank facing 600 




Alisky, C. A • 560 

Bellinger, Charles B 518 

Brant, John 619 

Bronough, Karl C 547 

Chapman, Col. W. W 470 

Corbett, Henry W 484 

Coulter, Samuel 582 

Deady, Matthew P 493 

Dekum, Frank 545 

De Lashmutt. Van B 533 

Dodd, Charles H 594 

Dolph, Cyrus A 524 

Dudley, W. L 623 

Durand, E 637 

Earhart, Rockey P 558 

Failing, Henry 521 

Fleischner, Lewis 553 

Gill, j. K 625 

Glisan, Dr. Rodney 516 

Green, Henry D 535 

Hawthorne, Dr. j. C 555 

Henrichsen, L. C 588 

Hirsch, Solomon 511 

Holman, j. D 599 

Holmes, Thomas* J 557 

Jeffery, Edward J 577 

Johnson, A. H 562 

Jones, Dr. Henry E 602 

Kamm, Jacob 638 

Kelly, James K 528 

Killin, Benton 567 

Klosterman, John 572 

Ladd, W. S 503 

Lotan, james ' 570 

Lownsdale, D. H '. 497 

Lownsdale, J. P. O 525 

Mackenzie, Dr. K. A. J 615 

Macleay, Donald , 531 

Mallory, Rufus 606 

Markle, George B 629 

Marquam, P., A 591 

Mitchell, John H 537 

Montgomery , J . B 543 

Moreland, J. C 575 

Morey, P. F 631 

Mulkey, F. M 626 

Noon, W. C 586 

Northrup, E. J 623 

Northup, Henry H 573 

Oatman, Harrison B 617 

ReedS. G 526 

Reid William 612 

Saylor, Dr. W. H 568 

Scott, Harvey W 642 

Shattuck, Erasmus D 514 

Smith, J. S 549 

Smith, Charles J 576 

Spaulding,W. W ^ 628 

Staver, George W \ 634 

Steel, George A 621 

Steel, James 609 

Strong, Wm 499 

Strowbridge, J. A 551 

Thayer, William Wallace 541 

Therkelsen, L. W 585 

Thompson, H. Y 579 

Weinhard, Henry 636 

Whalley, John William 564 

Wiberg, Charles M 584 

Williams, George H 507 

Williams, Richard 641 

Woodward, John Henry 580 

Woodward, Tyler 589 

Zan, Frank 587 






Voyages and Discoveries Along the North Pacific Coast — Conflicting Claims of 
Various Nations to the Country— Expeditions of Lewis and Clarke — Contest for Pos- 
session of the Country — Early Settlements — Efforts of Americans to Establish Trad- 
ing Posts — John Jacob Astor and Astoria — Growth, Power and Purposes of British 
Fur Companies — Period of Joint Occupancy of the Territory — Oregon in Control of 
Hudson's Bay Company — Efforts to Secure American Settlers — Labors of Bonneville, 
Wyeth and Kelley — Advent of the Missionaries — Their Influence in Behalf of 
American Interests — Arrival of the Home Builders — Establishment of a Civil Gov- 
ernment — Value of the Labor of the Oregon Pioneers — Creation of Oregon Territory. 

I OEFORE the first white settler had sought to secure a habitation 
-U in the forest which marked the site of the present city of Port- 
land^ the region of which it is now the commercial center had 
passed through the most interesting period of its history. The pro- 
gress of civilization in this portion of the New World, covering a 
period of nearly half a century ante-dating the founding of the city, 
after many heroic sacrifices and struggles, had led to the peaceful 
conquest of a vast area and to the establishment of American 
supremacy. The successive steps which contributed to these results 
give to this region a unique place in our national annals, and it 
seems proper that a brief historical review of the period should pre- 
cede the story of the city whose foundations were laid after the self- 
denial, energy and endurance of many men and women had opened 
the forest to the sunlight, and brought the country bordering on the 
Pacific under the influence of American institutions. 

16 History of Portland. 

When a little more than a century ago the United States sprang 
into being as a nation, Oregon was known in name only, and that 
name was applied simply to a great river, which, from vague and 
indefinite reports, obtained from Indians and Spanish navigators, 
was said to flow westward from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific 
Ocean. This river was known to Americans and Englishmen as the 
Oregon or River of the West, while the Spaniards called it variously 
Rio de Aguilar and Rio de las Reyes. x\t this time, the country 
north of California had no name by which it was distinctively 
known, and there is no certain record that any civilized man had 
ever placed foot on the soil of either Oregon or Washington. The 
North Pacific coast, however, had been visited as early as 1535 by a 
Spanish naval explorer, and from that time between long intervals 
down to the beginning of the present century, other Spanish, Por- 
tugese, English and French navigators had sailed along the Pacific 
Coast, but the information they obtained was of the most vague and 
uncertain character. 

It was left for an American to give the first information of value 
concerning the country north of California. This was Captain Rob- 
ert Gray who, in May, 1792, in the American ship Columbia, dis- 
covered and entered the River of the West, which he ascended some 
twenty-five miles, bestowing on it the name of his vessel. This was 
the first discovery of the river and according to the custom of nations 
was a strong element in the title of the United States to all the 
country drained by it. A few weeks later Captain George Vancou- 
ver, in command of an English exploring expedition, having heard 
of Captain Gray's discovery, appeared at the mouth of the river, 
and sent one of his vessels, the Chatham, under the command of 
Lieutenant W. R. Broughton, into the river, and this officer ascended 
the river in a boat a distance of one hundred and twenty miles. 
The same year, Alexander MacKenzie, a member of the Northwest 
Company — a Canadian fur company — made the first overland jour- 
ney from the East to the Pacific, reaching the ocean on the present 
coast of British Columbia. He discovered Fraser River, down 
which he passed in canoes a distance of two hundred and fifty miles. 
Upon his return home, learning that the Columbia had been discovered, 

Early History of Oregon. 17 

he supposed that the large river which he had followed so far 
southward must be that great stream. This error was not corrected 
until twenty years later, and the stream was then named in honor of 
Simon Eraser, who, in 1805, had established a post in that region 
for the Northwest Company. 

These various sea and land explorations had proved three very 
important facts: First, that there was no water passage for vessels 
across the continent. Second: that by following the courses of 
streams and lakes, the overland journey could be nearly accom- 
plished in boats. Third: that this vast unexplored region abounded 
in fur-bearing animals, a fact which led in a few years to its occu- 
pation by rival fur traders, both English and American. 

At the beginning of the present century the territorial claims of 
the various nations to the Pacific Coast were exceedingly conflicting. 
Russia alone had a valid claim to Alaska, both by discovery and oc- 
cupation, although no definite southern boundary had been fixed. 
Spain's claim to California was also undisputed, extending to the 
forty-second parallel. Between these two, England and Spain 
claimed title by right of discovery only, while the United States by 
reason of Gray's discovery of the Columbia, had laid the foundation 
for a claim to the whole region drained by that mighty river, a 
claim as yet unasserted, but which was pressed with much vigor a 
few years later. Besides these discovery rights, the Louisiana Prov- 
ince, which France had transferred to Spain in 1792 was construed 
by its possessor, or more accurately speaking, its technical claimant, 
to cover the whole region west of the Mississippi not claimed by the 
same nations as portions of Mexico and California. This title was 
reconveyed to France in 1800, thus putting that nation again in the 
field as a claimant of territory in the western portions of North 

President Jefferson gave the first impulse to the movement to ex- 
plore and perfect the title of the United States government in the re- 
gion drained by the Columbia. He had been at Versailles when John 
Ledyard, who had accompanied Captain Cook's expedition in 1780 
attempted to interest American and French capitalists in the Pacific 
fur trade. Jefferson, with his profound sagacity, became deeply 

18 History of Portland. 

interested in the brilliant pictures of the wealth of this region as related 
by Ledyard, and he naturally preferred that to his own country 
should fall so magnificent an inheritance. Upon his return to Amer- 
ica, in 1792, he endeavored to interest his countrymen in the project, 
but the United States were then perfecting their government and the 
regulations of national affairs required immediate and careful at- 
tention. Thus engrossed with great political questions, more than a 
decade passed before the people began to think of future acquisition 
of territory. When Jefferson became president in 1801, he tiid lost 
none of his former interest in the northwest territory and was more 
than ever convinced of the expediency of making explorations in the 
remote west, and of obtaining more valid claim to the region than 
then existed. Under his administration was negotiated, in 1803, 
the purchase from France of Louisiana and all of the territorial rights 
of that nation in North America. It is questionable, however, 
whether the French title added much strength to the claim of the 
United States to that region bordering on the Columbia River. From 
the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains it was good enough as far 
north as the headwaters of the Mississippi, but west of the conti- 
nental divide, the French claim rested upon the uncertain plea of 
u contiguity. " This, however, the successors to the French claim 
made the most of in the subsequent controversy with Great Britain. 
Immediately after the purchase of Louisiana, Congress, at the ur- 
gent request of President Jefferson, dispatched an exploring expe- 
dition under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and Cap- 
tain William Clark. They left St. Louis in 1804 and returned in 
1806, having twice traversed the distanpejbetween that city and the 
mouth of the Columbia. The result of their explorations had been 
awaited with much anxiety, and their return causecbgreat rejoicing. 
' ' Never, ' ' says Mr. Jefferson, ' l did a similar event excite more joy 
throughout the United States. The humblest of its citizens had 
taken a lively interest in the issue of this journey and looked for- 
ward with impatience to the information it would bring. " The 
journal of these explorers was soon published and widely read and for 
the first time something definite was known of the character of the 
country and the native tribes occupying it. The interest it awakened, 

Early History of Oregon. 19 

especially among the brave and daring Rocky Mountain trappers, 
hunters and traders was great, and gave them the first proof of the 
feasibility of making the journey to the Pacific shore by land. 

When Great Britain became aware that the territory claimed by 
France in North America had been ceded to the United States, anx- 
iety was felt by that government and such of its subjects as were 
personally interested, as to the policy to be pursued to establish 
the British title to the country on the Pacific Coast north of Califor- 
nia. The Northwest and Hudson's Bay Companies were especially 
anxious as to the future of their interests in that region. The French 
and Spanish claims to the territory had been regarded as of little im- 
portance, but when they were transferred to a nation both able and 
anxious to perfect the title by reducing the country to actual pos- 
session and moreover were supported by the mere claims of discov- 
ery and occupation, the matter presented an entirely new aspect. 

The race for possession by right of occupancy from this time on 
was prosecuted with vigor. Great Britain secured the first advan- 
tage in this direction. Simon Fraser, an English subject and agent 
of the Northwest Fur Company, established a trading pcfet in 1805 
at Fraser Lake, a few miles west of the point where Fraser River 
turns southward, bestowing the name of ' ( New Caledonia ' ' upon 
that region. At this time the Fraser, as before stated, was consid- 
ered to be identical with the Columbia and the post was supposed to 
be on the great stream, for the possession of which America and 
England a few years later were to become vigorous contestants. This 
idea was soon afterwards proven to be erroneous, but the fact re- 
mains that the post was the first established by the subjects of either 
country west of the Rocky Mountains. The first American settle- 
ment was made by a man named Henry who, in 1808, founded Fort 
Henry on the headwaters of Lewis or Snake River, the first of any 
kind on a tributary of the Columbia. The next was made by Nathan 
Winship and William Smith, representatives of a Boston Company, 
who, in June, 1810, selected a spot on the south bank of the 
Columbia, forty-five miles from its mouth which they called ' c Oak 
Point. ' ' Here they made some preparation to found a settlement, 
but the annual freshet of the river forced them to abandon the 

20 History of Portland. 

undertaking. They then selected a higher site further down the river, 
but signs of hostility on the part of the Indians led them to give up 
the effort, and they returned to .Boston. Thus it will be seen that 
the first settlements on the Columbia were made by Americans, but 
they were unimportant links in the chain of evidence which proved 
the original occupancy of the territory by Americans, compared to 
the settlement established by the Astor party in 1811. 

After the independence of the United States was acknowledged by 
Great Britain, American ships were for many years practically barred 
from British ports. In seeking new haunts of commerce they sailed into 
the Western Ocean and during the early part of the present century took 
the lead in the fishing and fur trade of the Pacific. They sailed 
along the entire northwest coast, collecting furs to exchange for the 
fabrics of China, having a monopoly of this business long before the 
Hudson's Bay Company had established headquarters in this region. 
In addition to the fur trade they supplied the Spanish and Russian 
settlements along the coast with American manufactured goods. In 
dealing with the natives, the conduct of certain of these traders 
brought them into disrepute. For furs they exchanged with the In- 
dians whisky and fire arms. In this way several fierce tribes in the 
vicinity of the Russian settlements were furnished with deadly means 
of warfare and rendered dangerous and troublesome. Numerous 
complaints were made by the Russian government to the State De- 
partment, but the American traders were violating no law or treaty 
and the government could not interfere. 

At this time John Jacob Astor was the central figure of the 
American fur trade, and being consulted about the matter, he pro- 
posed as a remedy that a permanent trading post be established at 
the mouth of the Columbia, that would be the headquarters for trade 
within the interior and along the coast, and that the business be 
concentrated in the hands of a company powerful enough to supercede 
the independent traders who had been the cause of irritation to 
Russia. To this 'plan President Jefferson and his cabinet gave their 
hearty approval. Thus encouraged by the government, Mr. Astor 
organized the Pacific Fur Company to carry out the enterprise which, 
while he believed it would be a highly profitable undertaking, he 

Early History of Oregon. 21 

intended should be purely American in character and of deep polit- 
ical significance. Although he was actuated by the idea of finan- 
cial gain, there can be no doubt he was also animated by a patriotic 
desire to see the United States gain control of the region, and that 
he believed this end could be more surely gained by the establish- 
ment of a permanent trading settlement. He dispatched two expe- 
ditions to the mouth of the Columbia; one by sea, in the ship Ton- 
quin, which arrived March 22, 1810, and one by land, under Wil- 
son Price Hunt, which did not arrive until nearly a year later. 

So on after the arrival of the Tonquin } the erection of a fort was 
begun on the south side of the«river at a spot named "Point George" 
by Lieutenant Broughton. This they christened "Astoria" in 
honor of the founder and promoter of the enterprise. The name is 
perpetuated by the rise and growth of the thriving city which marks 
the spot where America first planted her foot upon the disputed 
territory of Oregon. 

The Northwest Fur Company upon learning of Astor's plans, 
and realizing the strong hold the American Government would 
have upon the territory in dispute, should those plans succeed, sent 
a party overland to counteract them. But this party did not arrive 
until three months after the fort was built, and at once returned. 
The war of 1812 gave the English company another opportunity. 
A second party was dispatched overland, which reached Astoria in 
the spring of 1813, bringing intelligence of the hostilities and the 
disheartening fact that an English war vessel was on the way to 
capture the fort. Under stress of circumstances the entire stock of 
furs was sold to the agent of the Northwest Company. Three 
months later the fort was surrendered to the commander of the Rac- 
coon, who had come for the purpose of capturing it. The Ameri- 
can flag was lowered to give place to the British colors, and the 
name of Astoria was changed to Fort George. 

The failure of Mr. Astor's plans in a national point of view was 
of much significance. It retarded the settlement of Oregon for 
many years. The maintenance of Astoria as a commercial point, 
such as Astor designed it should be, would have given the United 
States so strong a claim upon the country that little ground for 
contest of title would have remained for any other nation. 

22 History of Portland. 

The American government made no effort to retake the captured 
fort until the close of the war of 1812, when, under the treaty ot 
Ghent, which stipulated that ' ' all territory, places and possessions, 
whatsoever, taken by either party from the other during the war, or 
which may be taken after the signing of the treaty, shall be re- 
stored without delay. " Mr. Astor applied to the government for the 
restitution of his property, since he wished to resume operations on 
the Columbia River and carry out the plan of American occupation 
which had been so well begun. In July, 1815, notice was given the 
British government that steps would be taken to re-occupy the cap- 
tured fort, but no official response was received. For two years no 
active measures were taken, but in 1817 the United States govern- 
ment despatched the war sloop Ontario to the Pacific, to receive the 
surrender of the fort in accordance with the terms of the treaty of 
Ghent. This brought matters to a crisis, and a spirited discussion of 
the subject of title to the country followed, involving the question of 
abstract rights by discovery and absolute right by possession, both 
parties claiming under both titles. The claim of the United States 
was four fold: First, as a portion of Louisiana, purchased from 
France in 1803 ; second, by right of discovery by the Spanish ex- 
plorers Ferrelo in 1543^ and later by Perez, Aguilar, Heceta, Bodega, 
Quadra, and others, the benefit of whose discoveries accrued to the 
United States by the Florida purchase made in 1819, though the 
title was not asserted in the first negotiations, as the settlement was 
made subsequent to the first temporary settlement; third, by the dis- 
covery of the Columbia River by Captain Robert Gray, in 1792; and 
fourth, by reason of the explorations of Lewis and Clark and the es- 
tablishment of forts at Astoria and two other points by the Pacific 
Fur Company. It was denied that the sale of these forts under 
duress of threatened capture by a man of war was such as to affect the 
right of the United States to the benefits to be derived from settle- 
ments made by its citizens, especially since the terms of peace pro- 
vided that the forts should be surrendered to the United States gov- 
ernment. On the contrary, Great Britain claimed that the country 
north of the forty-second parallel was originally discovered by Francis 
Drake in 1578. To make this claim effective it was necessary to 

Ewjjvn'yMfa'" 3 ^ Br,M 

Early History of Oregon. 23 

deny that the prior voyage of Ferrelo had extended as far north as 
the Oregon line. Since the coast had also been explored by Cook 
and Vancouver, and had been visited by Meares and other English 
fur traders, all between 1775 and 1793, these facts were urged. as 
supplementing the original discovery of Drake. It was also neces- 
sary to deny that Gray had discovered the Columbia River, and to do 
this it was claimed that the entrance of the river by him was but 
one step in a series; that the discovery was a successive one, partici- 
pated in by Heceta, Meares, Vancouver, Gray and Broughton. Brit- 
ain' s claim by right of possession was based upon the establishment, 
in 1805, of a fort on Fraser Lake by an agent of the Northwest 
Company, and the purchase by the same company, of the property of 
the Pacific Fur Company. The Northwest Company then held pos- 
session of the Columbia region by means of forts at Astoria and other 
points along the river. With these rights and equities on both sides, 
a complete surrender by either was impossible, and after full discus- 
sion a treaty of joint possession for ten years was agreed upon, Octo- 
tober 20, 1818, by which nominal possession of Astoria was given to 
the United States, but actual possession and ownership was to remain 
in the Northwest Company. u By this act," says Judge Deady, u the 
two high contracting parties virtually admitted to the world, that 
neither of them had any perfect or acknowledged right to any country 
westward of the Stony Mountains, or that at most, they had but a 
claim of right to some undefined part of that comparatively unknown 
region. This convention, apparently acting upon the admission that 
neither party had any definite right to the country and that like any 
other unsettled and unowned portion of the globe it was open to oc- 
cupation by the first comer, expressly recognized the right of the 
people of both nations to occupy it, for the time being, at pleasure." 
Thus was sanctioned that occupation of the country by Great 
Britain which was practically commenced in 1813 by the transfer 
of the property and business of the Pacific Fur Company to the 
Northwest Fur Company; and from that date until the government 
of the pioneers was established, trade, commerce and colonization 
were decidedly in favor of Great Britian. The English sought to oc- 
cupy the country for the purpose of carrying on the fur trade with 

24 History of Portland. 

the Natives. It was to be kept from the plough and the sickle and 
preserved as a breeding ground for fur-bearing animals, except so 
far as the limited necessities or convenience of the fur traders might 
otherwise require. For several years the Northwest Fur Company 
was the dominant power in the country. Its operations were con- 
ducted on a thorough system by which it was soon developed into a 
powerful and wealthy corporation. All its managing agents were in- 
terested partners, who naturally did their utmost to swell the bus- 
iness. In the plenitude of its power, — about 1818, — it gave employ- 
ment to two thousand voyagers, while its agents penetrated the 
wilderness in all directions in search of furs. Meanwhile the older 
Hudson's Bay Company was becoming a strong competitor for the 
possession of the fur regions of Oregon. The struggle for suprem- 
acy became very bitter. The two companies had grown too large to 
be tolerant of each other, and mutual hostility springing out of a 
fierce spirit of commercial rivalry finally led to a state of actual war 
in which each sought to destroy its competitor by actually killing 
the men and by exciting the Indians to do so. Parliament realizing 
the precarious state of affairs put an end to the bloody feud, in 1821, 
by consolidating the rival companies under the name of ' ' The Hon- 
orable Hudson's Bay Company. " By this measure was created an 
organization far more powerful than either had been before, and 
England gained a united and potent agent for the advancement of 
her interests in America. 

A short time prior to consolidation the Northwest Fur Company 
established a post on the north bank of the Columbia, some miles 
above the mouth of the Willamette, which was christened Fort Van- 
couver. In 1823 the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company 
was removed from Fort George (Astoria) to Fort Vancouver, the lat- 
ter being a more eligible and accessible point for sea-going vessels, 
and the center and natural converging point of trapping parties com- 
ing down the Columbia from the vast wilderness to the east. Here 
for full twenty years this great corporation held almost undisputed 
sway. It had its factors, agents, traders, voyagers and servants, all 
working in perfect harmony to advance the interests and increase the 
powers of this giant monopoly, and to destroy every competitor who 

Early History of Oregon. 25 

— - — — — 

attempted to trade with the natives for peltries and furs. Its policy 
was one of uncompromising hostility toward every person or com- 
pany who interfered with its traffic, or who questioned its exclusive 
right to trade with the natives within the territory of Oregon. It 
had at the time the treaty of 1846 was made, twenty-three forts 
and trading posts judiciously located for trading with the Indians and 
trappers in its employ. It had fifty-five officers and five hundred and 
thirteen articled men under its control, all working together to main- 
tain its supremacy and power. The Hudson's Bay Company and all 
of its servants within the limits of Oregon were, moreover, under the 
protecting care of the British government. Parliament, at an early 
day after the joint occupation of the country commenced, had ex- 
tended the colonial jurisdiction and civil laws of Canada over all 
British subjects within the disputed territory. Magistrates were ap- 
pointed to administer and execute those law, who exercised juris- 
diction in civil cases where the amount in controversy did not exceed 
^200 sterling, and in criminal cases the same magistrates were au- 
thorized to commit persons accused of crime and send them to Can- 
ada for trial. In all matters of mere police and trade regulation the 
company exercised an authority as absolute as that of the Czar of 
Russia, and flogging was a common punishment which any officer 
from the governor of the company down to the petty clerk of a trad- 
ing fort might inflict upon any one of the rank and file of employes. 
From 1823 to 1845 Dr. John Mclaughlin 1 was chief factor of 
the Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rocky Mountains. He was, 
in many respects, a grand character, and time has proven how just 

1 Hon. William H. Rees, an Oregon pioneer of 1844, and personally ac- 
quainted with Dr. McLoughlin, in an address before the Oregon Pioneer Associa- 
tion in 1879, said of him : " Dr. McL,oughlin was no ordinary personage. Nature had 
written in her most legible hand pre-eminence in every lineament of his strong 
Scotch face, combining in a marked degree all the native dignity of an intellectual 
giant. He stood among his pioneer contemporaries like towering old Hood amid 
the evergreen heights that surround his mountain home — a born leader of men. He 
would have achieved distinction in any of the higher pursuits of life. He was born in 
the District of Quebec, Canada, in 1784, of Scotch parentage, reared under the influ- 
ence of the Angelican or Episcopal Church, of which he remained a member until 
November, 1842. At that date he became connected with the Catholic Church, of 
which he continued a devout communicant during the remaining years of his long 

26 History of Portland. 

was his exercise of almost unlimited power. For more than two 

decades he did more than anyone else to preserve order, peace and 
good will among the conflicting and sometimes lawless elements of 
population, and well fitted was he to govern both by fear and love. 
So absolute was his authority that prior to the settlement of the 
Willamette Valley by Americans, no legal forms were thought nec- 
essary, except such as made by the company's grants, full power being 
given to the chief actor and council to try and punish all offenders 
belonging to the company or within the Hudson's Bay territory. 
Dr. Mclvoughlin settled all disputes, and the Canadians and other 
servants of the company yielded without question to his right to 
judge and punish. He was a strict and stern disciplinarian, yet his use 
of authority was rarely, if ever, abused. Purely personal interest 
would have led him to throw every obstacle in his power in the way 
of settlement of the country by American citizens, but his kindness 
of heart would not permit him to refuse aid to those in distress, and 
the early American emigrants found in him one who at the sacrifice 
of his own interest was ever ready to lend them assistance and pro- 
tection. His humanity in this regard caused him to be misrepre- 
sented in England and brought him into so much disfavor with the 
Hudson's Bay Company that he was finally compelled to resign his 

It has been deemed necessary thus fully to describe the great 
power and firm foothold secured in Oregon by the Hudson's Bay 
Company, in order to give an adequate idea of the great task which 
lay before any American company which might seek to compete with 

and eventful life. Dr. Mclaughlin had received a liberal education and was a regu- 
lar bred physician, in statue above six feet, weighing some 250 pounds; his head 
was large, his commanding eye of a bluish gray, a fair florid complexion; his hair 
had been of a sandy color, but when I first met him at Vancouver, in the fall of 
1844, then sixty years of age, his great, luxuriant growth of hair was white as snow. 
A business requiring a residence among the wild native tribes necessarily made the 
regulations governing the service of the company partake more of the martial than 
the civil law. Dr. Mclyoughlin was a strict disciplinarian and in his bearing decid- 
edly military in suggestion ; his standard of honor was unviolated truth and justice. 
The strong distinguishing traits of his character were true courage, a clear, quick 
perception and firm reliance. He never hesitated in taking upon himself great 
responsibilities when in his judgment occasion required it. The regulations of the 

Early History of Oregon. 27 

it in its chosen field. Long before the period of joint occupancy of the 
territory had expired British control had become well nigh complete. 
The interest of the United States had not been promoted in any way, 
except as already stated by the Florida purchase of 1819, which 
carried with it the Spanish title to the territory north of the forty- 
second parallel. In Congress, however, the Oregon question was 
spasmodically discussed and much correspondence passed between the 
two governments. The United States urged its Spanish title as its 
right to the country by original discovery, also that the mouth of the 
Columbia River was ours by dual right of discovery and settlement, 
and, therefore, following the general rule which had been observed 
by European nations in colonizing America, all the country tributary 
to the river and its confluents was also subject to our dominion. 
As the Columbia sweeps northward to the fifty-third parallel, it was 
urged that, by this title alone, the government had undisputed right 
to the whole region lying between the forty -second and fifty-third 
parallels. In 1820 Russia asserted exclusive title on the coast from 
the Arctic Ocean as far south as the fifty-first parallel ; a claim which 
was protested by both England and the United States, but in the ne- 
gotiations which followed, the Russian title was fully acknowleged 
by both governments, as far south as fifty-four degrees and forty 
minutes, which at once became the northern limit of the claim of 
the United States. 

As the ten-year period of joint occupation drew to a close, new 
commissioners were appointed by the two governments to effect a set- 
tlement of title to the disputed territory, but after much discussion 

Hudson Bay Company required its officers to give one year's notice of their intention 
to quit the service. This notice the Doctor gave at the beginning of 1845 and the 
following year established himself upon his land claim in Oregon City, where he had 
already built a residence, large flouring mill, saw mills and store houses. Having 
located his land claim in 1829, he first made some temporary improvements thereon 
in 1830. These enterprises gave to the pioneer town quite a business-like appear- 
ance at the time of my arrival in the country, and employment to quite a goodly 
number of needy emigrants. The Doctor's religion was of that practical kind which 
proceeds from the heart and enters into the duties of every-day life ; his benevolent 
work was confined to no church, sect nor race of men, but was as broad as suffering 
humanity; never refusing to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and provide for the 
sick and toil-worn emigrant and needy settler who called for assistance at his old 

28 History of Portland. 

they were unable to agree upon a boundary line, and, in 1827, a new 
treaty was signed extending the period of joint occupation indefinitely, 
to be terminated by either party upon giving one year's notice. Thus, 
again, the settlement of the question was left to time and chance. 

In the meantime the British government, through the agency of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, had gained a tangible foot hold in Ore- 
gon by actual occupation, and so strong and powerful was this com- 
pany that it crushed all effort at competition. A few American fur 
traders did make the attempt to contest the field with the great 
English corporation, but through lack of unity of purpose and com- 
bination of capital they were driven to the wall. The first of these 
American traders was J. S. Smith, agent of the Rocky Mountain 
Fur Company, who, with several associates, came in 1825. He and 
his party were attacked by the Indians, a number were killed and the 
venture proved, in every way, unsuccessful. Smith was followed by 
a second party of American trappers led by Major Pitcher. They 
came in 1828, but shared the same fate as their predecessors, all but 
three of them being murdered by the Indians. The next band of 
American trappers was led by Edwin Young, who, a few years later, 
became one of the first and most energetic settlers in Oregon. In 
1831 the old American Fur Company, which had been so long man- 
aged by Mr. Astor, established trading posts in Oregon, at which 
time the Rocky Mountain Fur Company was also operating in this 
field. Strong rivalry sprang up between the two companies, which 
was intensified in 1833, by the appearance of two other competitors in 
the persons of Captain B. L. E. Bonneville and Nathaniel J. Wyeth. 

Vancouver home. Many were the pioneer mothers and their little ones whose hearts 
were made glad through his timely assistance, while destitute strangers, whom 
chance or misfortune had thrown upon these then wild inhospitable shores, were not 
permitted to suffer while he had power to relieve. Yet he was persecuted by men 
claiming the knowledge of a christian experience, defamed by designing politicians, 
knowingly misrepresented in Washington as a British intriguer, until he was unjustly 
deprived of the greater part of his land claim. 

Thus, after a sorrowful experience of man's ingratitude to man, he died an hon- 
ored American citizen, and now sleeps upon the east bank of the Willamette, at 
Oregon City, in the little yard which encloses the entrance to the Catholic Cathe- 
dral, beneath the morning shadow of the old gray cliffs that overlook the pioneer 
town of the Anglo-American upon the Pacific Coast ; here resting from his labors 

Early History of Oregon. 29 

Captain Bonneville was a United States army officer, who had* been 
given permission to lead a party of trappers into the fur regions of 
the Northwest, the expedition being countenanced by the government 
only to the extent of this permit. His object, as given by Irving, 
was : ' ' To make himself acquainted with the country, and the In- 
dian tribes; it being one part of his scheme to establish a trading 
post somewhere on the river (Columbia), so as to participate in the 
trade lost to the United States by the capture of Astoria. " He and 
his companions were kindly received by an officer of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, but when Captain Bonneville asked for supplies, and 
his heretofore genial host was made aware of the intention to found 
a rival trading post on the Columbia, < 'he then' J says Bonneville, i 'as- 
sumed a withered up aspect and demeanor, and observed that, how- 
ever he might feel disposed to serve him personally, he felt bound by 
his duty to the Hudson's Bay Company to do nothing which should 
facilitate or encourage the visit of other traders among the Indians 
in that part of the country. ' ' 

Bonneville returned home without establishing a post, but in the 
following year again visited the Columbia River country with quite 
a large force of trappers and mountain men and an extensive stock of 
goods for traffic with the Indians. But the Hudson's Bay Company's 
officers had instructed the Indians not to trade with the new comers, 
and they refused to have anything to do with the Americans. Thus 
Jiemmed in and unable to carry on trade Bonneville was forced to 
abandon the field and leave the English company practically in un- 
disputed possession. 

Nathaniel J. Wyeth, a Boston merchant, was another unsuccessful 
contestant with the Hudson's Bay Company. With eleven men he 
made the trip overland to Vancouver in 1832. But he had the mis- 
fortune to lose his supply ships containing all of his goods while on 

within the ever moaning sound of the mighty cataract of the beautiful river, while 
the humble stone that marks his grave bears this simple inscription : 

Dr. John McIvOughun, 


September 3rd, 1857, Aged 73 Years. 

The Pioneer and Friend of Oregon, also the Founder of this City. 

30 History of Portland. 

the way around Cape Horn, and thus being without means to carry 
on business he returned east. Two years later he organized the Col- 
umbia River Fishing and Trading Company, with a view of contin- 
uing operations on the Pacific Coast under the same general plan that 
had been outlined by Astor, adding, however, salmon fishing to the 
fur trade. Despatching the brig Mary Dacres for the mouth of the 
Columbia loaded with necessary supplies, he started overland with 
sixty experienced men. Near the headwater of Snake River he built 
Fort Hall as an interior trading post, and on Wapatoo Island near 
the mouth of the Willamette he established Fort Williams. Like his 
predecessor, Bonneville, he found the Indians completely under the 
control of the Hudson's Bay Company and it was impossible to establish 
business relations with them. This fact, including a scarcity of sal- 
mon in the Columbia River for two successive seasons, as well as 
ungenerous treatment on the part of his own countrymen engaged in 
the fur trade, induced him in a spirit of retaliation upon the Ameri- 
can traders, after an experience of three years, to sell Fort Hall to 
the British Company. 

The two rival American fur companies were consolidated in 1835, 
as the American Fur Company. To this company and to a few in- 
dependent American trappers, after the retirement of Bonneville and 
Wyeth, was left the work of competing with the English corporation. 
For a few years the unequal struggle was continued, but eventually 
the Hudson's Bay Company almost wholly absorbed the trade. 

While we have been tracing the unsuccessful attempt of the 
American fur traders to gain a foothold in Oregon, it must be borne 
in mind that it was not the first effort after the failure of the Astor 
party to secure the occupation of the country by American settlers. 
As early as 1817, Hall J. Kelley, of Boston, began to advocate the 
immediate occupation of the Oregon territory. He became an en- 
thusiast upon the subject and spent his time and considerable money 
in promoting a scheme for emigration to the country. In 1829 he 
procured the incorporation, by the commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
of ' ' The American Society for the Settlement of the Oregon Terri- 
tory. n This society presented a memorial to Congress in 1831, set- 
ting forth that it was ' c engaged in the work of opening to a civilized 

Earxy History of Oregon. 31 

population that part of Western America called Oregon." The 
memoralist state that: u They are convinced that if the country should 
be settled under the auspices of the United States of America, from 
such of her worthy sons who have drunk the spirit of those civil and 
religious institutions which constitute the living fountain and the very 
perennial source of her national prosperity, great benefits must result 
to mankind." They further stated: " that the country in question 
is the most valuable of all the unoccupied portions of the earth, ' > 
and designed by Providence " to be the residence of a people whose 
singular advantages will give them unexampled power and pros- 
perity. ' ' 

Congress, however, busy with other political abstractions did not 
even take the time to investigate or in any way encourage this 
scheme of colonization. In fadl the condudl of the national legisla- 
ture all through the early struggle for the acquisition of the Oregon 
territory was halting and dilatory; and had Congress been solely 
relied upon, Oregon might have became a dependency of Great Britain. 
The society, however, having constituted Mr. Kelley its general 
agent, continued its efforts despite the indifference of Congress. In 
1831, Mr. Kelley published a pamphlet entitled: " A General Circular 
to all Persons of Good Character who wish to Emigrate to the Oregon 
Territory," which set forth the general objedls of the society. The 
names of thirty-seven agents are given in the pamphlet, from any of 
whom persons desiring to become emigrants to Oregon under its 
auspices might obtain the proper certificate for that purpose. These 
agents were scattered over the Union. One of them was Nathaniel 
J. Wyeth, whose unfortunate fur and fishing ventures have been 
related. The expedition was to start from St. Louis in March, 1832, 
with a train of wagons and a supply of stock. Each emigrant was 
to receive a town and farm lot at the junction of the Columbia and 
Multnomah Rivers and at the mouth of the former, where seaports 
and river towns were already platted. 

But the scheme bore no immediate fruit. The failure of Congress 
to take any action in the matter destroyed its force as an organized 
effort, and only two of its original promoters, Mr. Kelley and Mr. 
Wyeth ever visited the scene of the proposed colony. Nevertheless 


32 History of Portland. 

the agitation of the project brought the country favorably before 
the public, and here and there set certain special forces and 
interests in motion, which in due time materially aided the consum- 
mation for which Mr. Kelley and Mr. Wyeth so devoutly wished 
and so long labored. Although their efforts proved financial fail- 
ures they were not without results conducive to American occupa- 
tion. Several of the persons who accompanied Wyeth as well as 
those who came with Kelley, remained and were the beginning of 
the independent American settlers in the country. 

Among them were the well known names of Edwin Young, 
James A. O'Neil, T. J. Hubbard, Courtney M. Walker and Solomon 
Smith, all of whom afterwards exerted a positive influence in 
favor of American interests. There were also two men of French 
descent — Joseph Gervais and Etienne L,ucier, who had come out with 
Wilson P. Hunt's party and whose sympathies were American. All 
told, in 1835, aside from the missionaries, there were about twenty- 
five men in Oregon who were favorable to the United States. 

To Wyeth' s expedition must also be given the credit of bringing 
the first missionaries to Oregon. In his supply ship, the Mary 
Dacres, came Rev. Jason L,ee, Rev. David L,ee, Cyrus Shephard and 
P. L. Edwards. They were sent out by the missionary society of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church to establish mission stations among 
the Indian tribes on the Pacific Coast. They established the first 
station in Oregon in the Willamette Valley, about ten miles below 
where Salem now stands. Their professed object in coming to the 
country, as may be said of those of other religious denominations 
who followed them, was purely a religious one — to convert the 
Indians to the christian faith — rather than to occupy the country and 
establish therein an American community. They were not the sort 
of men who ordinarily develop the resources of a country, but a 
combination of circumstances ultimately made them of great advan- 
tage to the early pioneers and of great benefit to the country. The 
missionary stations they established became points for future Amer- 
ican settlement and trade. When they found their missionary 
labors among the Indians were attended with but scanty harvest, 
the secular spirit became strong, and gradually the desire grew 

Early History of Oregon. 33 

among them to become a permanent colony rather than remain 
mere sojourners among the Indians. " Before long," says Judge 
Deady , ' l they began to build and plant as men who regarded the 
country as their future home. They prospered in this world's goods 
and when the emigration came flowing into the country from the 
west, they found at the Willamette Mission, practically an American 
settlement, whose influence and example were favorable to order, 
industry, sobriety and economy, and contributed materially to the 
formation of a moral, industrious and law-abiding community out of 
these successive waves of unstratified population. ' ' 

The effective force of the Methodist Missions was increased from 
1834 to 1840 by the arrival of Rev. A. F. Waller and wife, Rev. G. 
Hines and wife, Rev. L. H. Hudson and wife, George Abernethy and 
wife, H. Campbell and wife, and Dr. J. Iy. Babcock and wife. Most 
of those named came in 1840 by sea, around Cape Horn. By their 
arrival the character of the Mission underwent somewhat of a change. 
It assumed more of the character of a religious community or associa- 
tion, than of simple missionaries, actuated by the zeal of its founders 
to preach the Gospel to the heathen. They saw the necessity of 
devoting more of their time to the interest and welfare of the white 
settlers than to the Indians. They began to look upon the country 
as an inviting one for settlement, for trade, for commerce, and to 
make permanent homes for themselves and their children. Schools 
were established and churches were built by them, and thus a nucleus 
for a colonial settlement was created, which in later years was of 
essential benefit to the community at large. 

The Methodist missionaries were followed by Presbyterian min- 
isters, in 1837, who, sent out by the American Board of Foreign 
Missions, came across the Rocky Mountains and remained among the 
Indians east of the Cascade Mountains. At their head was Dr. 
Marcus Whitman, who took up his residence among the Cayuse In- 
dians at Wailatpu, in the Walla Walla Valley. His co-laborers were 
Rev. H. H. Spalding and W. H. Gray, who were stationed among 
the Nez Perces Indians, at L,apwai, and among the Flatheads at 
Alpona. The first two brought their wives with them, they being 
the first women who crossed the plains. Two years later Rev. 

34 History of Portland. 

Cushing Eells and Rev. Elkanah Walker and their wives established 
another mission among the Spokane Indians in the vicinity of Fort 
Colville. Of these missionaries Dr. Whitman was the one at this 
time most thoroughly alive to the importance of securing Oregon as 
an American possession against the claims of Great Britain. He was 
intensely American in all his feelings; a man of indomitable will and 
perseverance in whatever he undertook to accomplish, whom no 
danger could daunt and no hardship could deter from the perform- 
ance of any act which he deemed it a duty to discharge. Gray 
gave up the mission work in 1842 and settled in the Willamette 
Valley, and was one of the most active supporters of American inter- 
ests, and a determined promoter of the organization of the provisional 

In 1838 the Roman Catholics entered the field. The representa- 
ters of this church leaned to British interests, and made their headquar- 
ters at Vancouver. Their influence and teachings among the people 
were naturally in favor of the authority and interest of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. They discouraged the early attempt at the formation 
of a government by American settlers in the country, but submitted to 
it when established. They pursued their missionary labors zealously 
throughout the entire region dominated by the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, and founded subordinate missions in many widely separated 
Idealities. Between them and the Protestant missionaries bitter hos- 
tility soon sprang up, and the ignorant savage was pulled hither and 
hither and given to understand that he was the bone of contention 
between the two religions, the representatives of each declar- 
ing by word and • deed that the other was false. In the work of 
proselyting the Catholics were the more successful, and the Protestant 
missions, as such, were discontinued within ten years. 

The Catholic missionaries devoted their time not only to the In- 
dians, but ministered to the Canadian French, who, after leaving the 
Hudson's Bay Company, settled in the Willamette Valley and on the 
Cowlitz. The Willamette Falls was selected by the company in 1829 
as a place of settlement for its retired servants. It had previously been 
the policy of the company not to permit settlements to be made by 
their servants whose term of sendee had expired, since they deemed 


Early History of Oregon. 35 

such settlements detrimental to the preservation of the region as a 
fur-producing wilderness. But the company was bound under heavy 
penalties not to discharge any of its servants, even after they could 
render no service, and was therefore forced to provide homes for them 
where they could to a degree be self-supporting. They were still 
retained on the company's books as its servants, and still inclined, as 
British subjects, to uphold and maintain the supremacy of Great 
Britain in the country where they lived. The settlement at Willam- 
ette Falls did not prosper, and a few years later it was abandoned. 
The ex-servants then located near Champoeg, in Marion County, and 
became quite a flourishing colony, and there their descendants live to 
the present day, useful and industrious citizens. 

At the close of 1837 the independent population of Oregon con- 
sisted of forty-nine souls, about equally divided between Missionary 
attaches and settlers. With but few exceptions, the arrivals during 
the next two years were solely of persons connected with the various 
Missions whose advent has already been noted. The settlers who 
followed then were moved by no religious incentive. Some were 
independent trappers from the Rocky Mountains, who had become 
enamored of the beautiful Willamette valley, and had come here to 
settle down from their life of danger and excitement. Some of 
them were sailors, who had concluded to abandon the sea and dwell 
in this land of plenty, while still others were of that restless, roving 
class, who had by one way and another, reached this region in 
advance of the waves of emigration which swept into it a few years 
later. Including the arrivals of 1840, among whom were Dr. 
Robert Newell and Joseph L,. Meek, there were in the Fall of that 
year (exclusive of the officers and employees of the Hudson's Bay 
Company), one hundred and thirty-seven Americans in Oregon, 
nearly all in the Willamette Valley, about one-third of whom were 
connected with the Missions in some capacity. There were also sixty 
Canadian settlers, former employees of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
who had left the service of the company and settled in the Willamette 
Valley, and who eventually cast the weight of their influence on 
the side of the independent American settlers, as those unconnected 
with either of the Missionary societies or Hudson's Bay Company 
were called. 

36 History of Portland. 

Up to 1839, the only law or government administered in this 
region, was the rule of the Hudson's Bay Company, but in that 
year, deeming that there should be some authority that settlers 
would respect, the Methodist Missionaries appointed two persons to 
act as magistrates. This, the independent settlers acquiesced in, 
although it had been done without their co-operation or consent. 
So far as the latter class were concerned they were, through the inat- 
tention and neglect of Congress, absolutely without government or 
laws of any kind. The Missionaries had rules and regulations 
established by themselves . which governed them in their social 
intercourse with each other, arid united them in a common cause for 
their mutual protection. But the independent settlers had not even 
that security for their lives or their property. By their own gov- 
ernment, which ought to have thrown around them its protecting 
care, they were treated literally as political outcasts, nor was Con- 
gress unaware of their condition. On January 28, 1839, Hon. 
Lewis F. Ivinn, one , of the United States Senators from Missouri, 
and the most zealous and indefatigable champion of the American 
settlers in Oregon and of the claims of the United States to the Oregon 
Territory, presented to the Senate a petition of J. L,. Whitcomb 
and thirty-five other settlers in Oregon, which in simple and touch- 
ing language set forth the conditions of the country, its importance 
to the United States, its great natural resources and necessity of 
civil government for its inhabitants. The settlers thus plead with 
the Nation's Representatives: 

' ' We flatter ourselves that we are the germ of a great State, 
and are anxious to give an early tone to the moral and intellectual 
character of our citizens — the destiny of our posterity will be 
intimately affected by the character of those who emigrate. * * * 
But, a good community will hardly emigrate to a country which 
promises no protection to life or property. * * * * We can 
boast of no civil code. We can promise no protection but the 
ulterior resort of self defense. * * * * We do not presume to 
suggest the manner in which the country should be occupied by the 
government, nor the extent to which our settlement should be 
encouraged. We confide in the wisdom of our national legislators 
and leave the subject to their candid deliberations. " 

Early History of Oregon. 37 

The petition concluded by urging the necessity of assumption of 
jurisdiction of the territory by the United States, and of the inaugu- 
ration of energetic measures to secure the execution of all laws 
affecting Indian trade and the intercourse of white men and Indians. 
u The security" said the petitioners, "of our persons and our prop- 
erty, the hopes and destinies of our children, are involved in the 
objects of our petition. ' ' 

This petition was read, laid on the table and neglected. In 
June, 1840, Senator Linn again presented a memorial signed by 
seventy citizens of Oregon, praying Congress to extend Federal juris- 
diction over the territory, in which the government was warned 
that the country is too valuable to be lost, that attempts were being 
made by the rival nations to reduce it to possession, and that appear- 
ances indicated British intent to hold exclusively the territory north 
of the Columbia. Then modestly invoking the attention of Con- 
gress to the region because of its national importance, they concluded 
with this patriotic prayer : ' ' Your petitioners would beg leave especially 
to call the attention of Congress to this, our condition as an infant 
colony, without military force or civil institutions to protect their 
lives and property and children, sanctuaries and tombs, from the 
hands of uncivilized and merciless savages around them. 

' ' We respectfully ask for the civil institutions of the American 
Republic — we pray for the high privileges of American citizen- 
ship; the peaceful enjoyment of life; the right of acquiring, possess- 
ing and using property and the unrestrained pursuits of rational 
happiness. ' ' 

. This memorial, like the preceding one, was laid on the table and 
forgotten by a majority of the Senators to whom it was addressed. 
Senators Iyinn and Benton almost alone remained the true and tried 
friends of Oregon. The former, during three terms of Congress had 
not only introduced and urged consideration of bills for the purpose of 
extending the jurisdiction and laws of the United States over the ter- 
tory of Oregon, but had also urged the passage of bills granting do- 
nations of the public lands in Oregon to citizens who had settled 
there. He did not live .to see the measures he had so zealously ad- 
vocated become laws, but eight years after his death the legislative 

38 History of Portland. 

Assembly of Oregon, in a spirit of gratitude and out of affectionate 
regard for his memory gave his name to one of the largest and most 
productive counties in, the territory. 

Why Congress suited the petitions of the settlers in Oregon to 
lie unheeded, why it failed to protect them by extension of laws over 
the territory, as the English government had done for British sub- 
jects, must remain a matter of conjecture. But it must be borne in 
mind that at this time, in the judgment of many of the leading men 
of the day, Oregon was regarded as valueless and unpractical for 
American settlement. Statesmen and publicists had been wont to 
speak derisively of the idea that American civilization would press 
westward of the Rocky Mountains and secure a foot hold on the 
shores of the Pacific. Among the first recognition on the part of 
Congress of such a country as Oregon, which occurred in 1825, on 
the introduction of a bill by Mr. Floyd, of Virginia, " authorizing 
the occupation of the Oregon river," Senator Dickinson, of New 
York, assailed the measure in a sarcastic speech in which he claimed 
that it would never become a State, that it was 4650 miles from the seat 
of the Federal Government, and that a young and able-bodied senator 
might travel from Oregon to Washington and back once a year, but he 
could do nothing more. He closed his speech with the remark: "as 
to Oregon Territory, it can never be of any pecuniary advantage to 
the United States, " — a conclusion which subsequent events and the 
present situation and prosperity of the State prove him to have 
been little of a sage and a miserable failure as a prophet. As late as 
1843, when Senator L,inn's bill was introduced in the senate of the 
United States, providing for granting land to the inhabitants of 
Oregon Territory, a senator said, in the discussion of the bill: " For 
whose benefit are we bound to pass this bill ? Why are we to go 
there along the line of military posts and take possession of the 
only part of the territory fit to occupy — that part lying upon 
the sea coast, a strip less than a hundred miles in width ; for, as I 
have already stated, the rest of the territory consists of mountains 
almost inaccessible, and low lands covered with stone and volcanic 
remains ; where rain never falls except during the spring, and even 
upon the coast no rain falls from April to October, and for the 

Early History of Oregon. 39 

remainder of the year there is nothing but rain. Why, sir, of what 
use will this be for agricultural purposes? I would not for that 
purpose give a pinch of snuff for the whole territory. I would to 
God we did not own it. I wish it was an impassible barrier to secure 
us against intrusion of others. This is the character of the country." 
This extract will give an idea how dense was the ignorance concern- 
ing Oregon less than half a century ago by a man presumptively of 
more than average reading and information. 

But a new force was about to appear on the scene that was to 
demonstrate the falsity of the ideas held by many pretentious and 
assuming statesmen; that was to prove that the 3,500 miles of land 
lying between the nation's capital and the mouth of the Columbia 
could be traversed by the ordinary means of conveyance ; that 
was to settle the question of America's right to the country, and force 
Congress to extend the protection and blessings of our form of 
government over all the great country lying between the two oceans. 
It was the home-seeking emigrants, with their wives and children, 
flocks and herds, who in wagon trains began to make the long 
pilgrimage across the plains. This movement, on the basis of any 
magnitude did not begin until after 1840. Then began that steady 
stream of young, vigorous life which has annually flowed into Oregon 
for nearly half a century, the end of which will not be seen for many 
years. Deep causes existed, which moved this living stream to force 
its way across rocky barriers and arid plains. Very naturally the 
movement began in the region then known as the West, and had its 
greatest strength in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. Trappers returning 
to St. Louis had sung the praises of the lovely and fertile valley of 
Willamette, where winter was unknown and the grass remained green 
all the year round. The Western frontiersmen caught up the refrain 
as it passed from cabin to cabin, and in a few years the tale was an 
old one to the pioneers of the West. The panic of 1837 and 
the consequent stagnation of business, had produced a feeling of 
despondency in the West, and especially in the States named where 
there was no market for stock or produce; where credit, public and 
private was destroyed, and a large number of persons were looking 
anxiously about for means of subsistence. This state of things 

40 History of Portland. 

helped very much to turn the public attention to Oregon. More- 
over, the publication of a book by Dr. Parker, a missionary who 
visited Oregon in 1835, a historical and descriptive work by John 
Dunn, of the charming narratives of Bonneville and Astoria by 
Washington Irving, and of a letter written by Robert Shortess, who 
had come out in 1839, were well calculated to fill the minds of the 
romantic arid adventurous with an interest in the country and a 
desire to make the marvelous journey across the plains. 

Moved by the impulses just recited, the first regular emigration 
began the long journey to Oregon in the Spring of 1841. It con- 
sisted of one hundred and eleven persons. In the Fall of the same 
year, twenty-three families from the Red River settlement of the 
Hudson's Bay Company came out and settled on Cowlitz Prairie, 
some of them locating later in the Willamette Valley. These were 
brought out as an offset to the American settlers, but they were too 
few in numbers to stem the tide setting Americanward, and were 
overwhelmed by the American emigration of the next few years. 

In 1842, the first regular emigrant wagon train started for 
Oregon, consisting of sixteen wagons and one hundred and nine 
people. No wagon wheel had ever cut the sod of the country over 
which they proposed to go, and the region through which they 
must pass was practically unknown as a route for wagons. With 
infinite difficulty the party advanced as far as the old trapping ren- 
dezvous on Green River, where half of the wagons were dismantled. 
The other half were taken as far as Fort Hall on Snake River, where 
they were abandoned, owing to the deep-rooted belief that wagons 
could not be taken through the Snake River Canyon and Blue 
Mountains. In the train was Dr. Elijah White, who had spent three 
years in Oregon in connection with the Methodist Mission, and had 
now secured the appointment of Indian Agent for the region West 
of the Rocky Mountains. Among others were the well remem- 
bered name's of A. Iy. L,ovejoy, I,. W. Hastings, Medorum Crawford, 
J. R. Robb, F. X. Matthieu, Nathan Coombs, T. J. Shadden, S. W. 
Moss and J. L,. Morrison, all of whom deserve to be placed in the 
front rank of Oregon's pioneers. L,ovejoy was a lawyer from Boston 
— the first lawyer in the colony — and was prominent in its affairs 

Early History of Oregon. 41 

for the next twenty years, while Crawford afterwards held various 
positions of honor and trust under the National and State govern- 

The year 1842 also witnessed the first successful attempt at 
independent trade in Oregon. In July of that year, Captain John 
H. Couch brought the ship Chenamus into the Willamette River 
With a cargo of goods from Boston, which he placed on sale at 
Willamette Falls. Prior to this event the Hudson's Bay Company 
and the Mission had a monopoly of the mercantile business in 
Oregon. Couch was so well pleased with the country that he gave 
up the sea and settled in it. Couch's addition to the city of Port- 
land is built upon the land claim taken up by him in 1845. 

Wherever the American citizen goes he carries with him the 
great fundamental principle of representative democratic govern- 
ment, and no better example of this great fact can be cited than 
the conduct of the early settlers of Oregon. Hardly had the first 
pioneers erected a shelter from the inclemency of the season, when, 
true to their American instincts, they missed and at once desired to 
supply the protection afforded by civil institutions. Too weak for 
self-government, naturally they turned to the United States Congress 
to supply their first necessity. Their petition of 1838, is an 
admirable argument for the principle that good order can only be 
assured by a u well judged civil code." In 1840, they eloquently 
lamented that they were without protection which law secured. 
Their appeals ignored by their government, they turned to themselves, 
to each other, and at once agitated the question of establishing a 
temporary government. 

The first effort looking toward the organization of a civil govern- 
ment was made in 1841, at Champoeg, which at the time was the 
seat of the principal settlement in the Willamette Valley. It origi- 
nated among the members of the Methodist Mission, and for that 
reason did not have the cordial support of the independent settlers. 
The movement failed, and although several causes contributed to 
this result, the main reason was the unpopularity of its chief pro- 
moters among those Americans disconnected with the missions. At 
this time, says an early pioneer, the people of Oregon were divided 

42 History of Portland. 

into two great divisions with reference to their allegiance— citizens 
of the United States and subjects of the British sovereign. Among 
the people there were three classes — the officers of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, who were considered .the aristocratic English class; the 
missionaries, who were regarded as the American aristocrats, while 
the third class was composed of the "common people" of both 
nationalities, who refused to accept the social position assigned to 
them. Thus jealousies and prejudices were engendered, which 
required time, association and a feeling of mutual dependence to 

During the year 1842 the subject of establishing a civil govern- 
ment continued to be agitated by the members of the Methodist 
Mission. They invited their fellow residents of foreign birth to join 
them in the work as they had done in 1841, but were met with per- 
sistent refusal. Although these efforts of the missionaries proved 
utter failures, yet the independent settlers were by no means discour- 
aged or despondent ; they merely waited for a convenient opportunity 
to take the matter into their own hands. This occurred in February, 
1843, when a meeting was called ostensibly for the purpose of taking 
measures to protect the herds of the settlers from the depredations of 
wild animals, but actually the object of the meeting was more for the 
purpose of concerting measures for the formation of some kind of civil 
government. At this meeting a committee was appointed to give 
notice to the people that another meeting would be held in March; 
and fearing that a full attendance would not be secured unless the 
object was one in which all had a common interest, it was not dis- 
closed that any action was intended except to devise means to rid the 
country of destructive animals. At the March meeting the real pur- 
pose was revealed by the adoption of a resolution providing " that a 
committee be appointed to take into consideration the propriety of 
taking measures for the civil and military protection of the colony. " 
This committee composed of Dr. J. L,. Babcock, Dr. Elijah White, 
James A. O'Neil, Robert Shortess, Robert Newell, Etienne Lucier, 
Joseph Gervais, Thomas J. Hubbard, John McKay, W. H. Gray, 
Solomon Smith and George Gay, agreed upon a plan of government, 
and called a general meeting of the citizens at Champoeg, May 2, 

Early History of Oregon. 43 

to consider their report. At this meeting the report of the committee, 
after much canvassing, was adopted by a vote of 52 yeas to 50 
nays. Before adjourning, the meeting set the new government in 
motion by electing a Supreme Judge, sundry subordinate officers, and 
a Legislative Committee of nine persons, namely : Robert Moore, 
Robert Shortess, Alanson Beers, Thomas J. Hubbard, Wm. H. Gray, 
James A. O'Neil, Robert Newell, David Hill, and William P. 
Dougherty, to prepare and report the necessary laws for the new gov- 
ernment, to be submitted to a vote of the people on the 5th of July. 
This first Legislative Committee duly performed the work assigned, 
and articles of compact and a code of laws, were ratified by the peo- 
ple in convention assembled on the day named. The following 
preamble to the organic law states fully and clearly the object which 
animated the settlers, viz. : 

" We, the people of Oregon Territory, for the purpose of mutual protection, and 
to secure peace and prosperity among ourselves, agree to adopt the following laws 
and regulations, until such time as the United States of America extend their juris- 
diction over us. ' ' 

The bill of rights adopted guaranteed all the great safeguards of 
individual liberty, freedom of conscience, the habeas corpus and trial 
by jury. The duty of encouraging morality, religion and knowledge 
by the support of schools was recognized. Good faith to the Indians 
was to be observed, and the territory was forever dedicated to freedom 
by the adoption of the ordinance of 1789/ The executive power was 
reposed in an Executive Committee of three, two of whom were a 
quorum. The law-making power was continued in the Legislative 
Committee of nine, and a judiciary constituted, consisting of a 
Supreme Court, Probate Court and justices of the peace. A whole 
system of laws was adopted in the most original manner. Certain 
laws and parts of laws of Iowa were declared to be the statute laws 
of Oregon by the mere recital of the act by title, or the section of the 
act, giving the page quoted. A land system, militia law and other 
necessary measures were duly adopted. The finances of the govern- 
ment were provided for by the unique and very original plan of 
private subscription. Not only did the pioneers deem the consent of 

44 History of Portland. 

the governed an essential thing, but each citizen enjoyed the privi- 
lege of saying how much he would contribute, how much restraint 
he would tolerate by becoming a part of the government. 

Thus, while Oregon was claimed and partially occupied by the 
British, a government was begun that, in form and spirit, was purely 
American. It was this act on the part of the American residents in 
Oregon which settled the question of our right to the country, and 
won back for the United States the title .to the disputed territory, 
which national diplomacy had well nigh lost. The attention of the 
whole country was soon directed to the little republic, which the 
American pioneer had established on the Pacific, and none of the 
public men now thought of surrendering the country to the control of 
Great Britain, while a great political party at its national convention, in 
1844, declared our title to Oregon to be " clear and unquestioned. " 

Every step leading up to the establishment of provisional gov- 
ernment was opposed by the influence of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany and the British subjects generally, although chief factor, Mc- 
Laughlin, was ready to enter into a compact or domestic treaty for 
the regulation and adjustment of all points of dispute or difference 
which might spring up among the residents; indeed they admitted 
that it was time to establish some rules based upon public opinion, 
decidedly expressed, for the maintenance of good order and individual 
rights, but they felt apprehensive for themselves and their interests 
in placing extensive law-making power in the hands of a legislative 
body composed of men actuated by a desire to secure the territory 
as a possession of the United States. This feeling, the organ- 
izers of the provincial government finally overcame, by wise and- 
prudent conservatism and consistent democratic recognition of man- 
hood, regardless of nativity, and all the settlers in Oregon, whether 
American citizens or British subjects, were soon united in hearty 
support of the new government. 

Before the close of 1843 some eight hundred emigrants poured 
into Oregon. The causes which had prompted the immigrations of 
1841 and 1842 had become more potent and widespread than ever in 
1843. Senator Linn was pressing his " Oregon Bills " upon the at- 
tention of Congress, one of which provided for the donation of public 

Early History of Oregon. t 45 

lands to all who might settle in Oregon, — his idea being that a 
liberal immigration alone could be relied upon to win the Co- 
lumbia for the United States, and that special inducements should be 
offered to those brave and hardy pioneers, who must constitute the 
nation's line of battle on the frontier. The emigrant train of this 
year was the first to come the entire distance in wagons and demon- 
strated the long disputed fact that the mountains, deserts and can- 
yons could be passed by the wagon of the emigrant. 

The pioneers of 1 843 stood pre-eminent among the early settlers, 
The greater number of them- were pioneers by nature and occupation, 
as their fathers had been before them. In childhood, the story of their 
ancestors' migrations from the east to the west, and then to the newer 
west, was their handbook of history. They were "home builders" 
in the texture of their mental constitution and most of them cared 
little for the amenity of polite society. Among them were Jesse, 
Charles and Iyindsey Applegate, Peter H. Burnett, Daniel Waldo, 
John and Daniel Holman, J. W. Nesmith and many others who, in 
later years, left the impress of their personality upon the formative 
period of Oregon's history. 

The immigration of 1844 amounted to some eight hundred per- 
sons, and its general character did not differ materially from that of 
the preceding and subsequent years. From the account of one who 
came with the immigration of this year, we are told that it was com- 
posed for the most part of ' c frontiersmen who kept in advance of the 
settlements, emanating from the southern rather than the eastern 
States. There were men in it from all the States east and north, 
perhaps, and individuals from nearly all the countries of western 
Europe, but the largest number traced their origin to the Scotch cov- 
enanters who had settled in Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. ' ' 
The immigration of 1845 was still larger than that of either the two 
preceding years, containing about 3,000 persons. It was largely from 
Iowa. Fully two thousand persons constituted the immigration of 
1846, only one half of whom remained in Oregon, the remainder go- 
ing to California. In 1847 above three thousand were added to the 
population and an equal number during the following year, so that 
at the time of the establishment of the territorial government in 1848 
there was a population of about 15,000 in the country. 

46 History of Portland. 

After the influx of the immigration of 1843 and 1844, the com- 
mittee government of the former year was found insufficient for the 
population. A stronger government was needed. At the session of 
the legislative committee, June, 1844, several modifications were 
made, a special election on three amendments was ordered, and they 
were ratified by a majority of 203 votes, to take effect after the first 
Tuesday in June, 1845. By this change was created the office of 
Governor, in lieu of the Executive Committee, conferring upon the 
office veto power instead of submitting laws to popular vote, while 
the legislative committee of nine was superceded by a House of Rep- 
resentatives, consisting of not less than thirteen and not more than 
sixty-one members. This form of government, as amended in 1845, 
existed until the jurisdiction of the United States was extended over 
the teixitory. 

George Abernethy, whose arrival in the territory has been already 
mentioned, was elected Governor under the remodeled government, 
in 1846, and was annually elected by popular vote until the provisional 
government ceased to exist. Medorum Crawford, a pioneer of 1842, 
says of him: " As a missionary he was consistent and conscientious; 
as a business man, he was honorable, enterprising and liberal; as a 
a governor, he was patriotic, efficient and unselfish. And for this 
he deserves the respect of the pioneers and honorable mention in the 
history of Oregon. " Another distinguished pioneer has left the fol- 
lowing tribute to his worth and character: " George Abernethy, an 
intelligent christian gentleman, unassuming, indisposed to court pop- 
ular favor, with strong common sense, and a desire to do his duty 
conscientiously and quietly, was the right man for the occasion, and 
whatever prejudice may assert to the contrary, it was fortunate for 
the colony that just such a person could be had to fill the highest 
and most responsible position in the pioneer government." A mass 
of concurrent testimony could be given to prove that the foregoing 
was the general verdict of the pioneers who lived under his admin- 
istration. He was not a great man, but that he was good, pure and 
patriotic, truthful history must record. He died in the city of Port- 
land, May 3, 1877, where he had long resided. 

/?// //// rf 'A'////// 

Early History of Oregon. 47 

The provisional government was admirably adapted to meet the ex- 
igencies of the times and the condition of the people. It commanded 
the support of all citizens without distinction, and so thorough was 
the confidence of the people ' ' in the integrity of those who admin- 
istered it," says Judge Thornton, " that it was strong without either 
an army or navy, and rich without a treasury. Property was safe; 
schools were established and supported; contracts were enforced; 
debts were collected, and the majesty of the law vindicated in a man- 
ner that proved that the government was able and efficient, because 
the people confided in the patriotism, wisdom and ability of those 
who administered it, and of course the people were prosperous and 
happy. ' ' 

Perhaps the most severe test of energy and power the provisional 
government endured was the prosecution of the war against the 
Indians which commenced in the depth of the winter of 1847—8. On 
the 29th of November, 1847, the Cayuse Indianl murdered Dr. 
Whitman and associates at Wailatpu and the country east of the 
Cascade Mountains was abandoned by all the American missionaries 
and settlers. Here was a most appalling situation,. The danger of 
an uprising of all the Indians of the Columbia was imminent, and 
there were enough of them to overwhelm the settlement in the Wil- 
lamette Valley. To avert this it was necessary to punish the Indians 
promptly. In thirteen days from the receipt at Oregon City of 
information of the massacre, a force of fifty armed men under Col. J. 
W. Nesmith was in possession of the mission station at the Dalles of 
the Columbia River, having marched a distance of one hundred and 
fifty miles in the inclement month of December. At the same time 
a regiment of fourteen companies was recruited and equipped, upon 
the faith of the provisional government, and moved to the front. 
After a campaign of several months, in which two battles were 
fought, the Cayuses were driven entirely out of their country, nor 
were they permitted to occupy it again in peace until they delivered 
up five of the guilty ring-leaders who were tried, convicted and 
executed at Oregon City. Thus the government of the pioneers, 
without aid from the United States, quickly and efficiently avenged 
the murder of American citizens, and in doing this ' ' there was, ' ' 

48 History of Portland. 

says ex-Gov. Curry, in an address before the Pioneer Association, u a 
display of energy and power which would be regarded as remarkable 
in the operations of any government, but in one so new and 
inexperienced as that of the pioneers of Oregon, it must be proof 
eminently satisfactory as to the ability and efficiency of it, that it 
was not only one in name, but a government formed in the 
esteem and sustained by the will and majesty of the people. " 

In the work of the pioneers, whose efforts we have been tracing 
up to this period, we have seen that already the country was practi- 
cally the territory of the United States by the highest and best title 
in existence, the actual occupation and control of it by her citizens. 
This question was, therefore, virtually settled by the inauguration of 
the provisional government in 1843, but from that time until the 
treaty of 1846 was signed it was a prominent issue in American 
political life. Mr. Polk, the democratic candidate for President, 
made his campaign on a party platform, which declared that our title 
to the whole of Oregon up to fifty-four degrees and forty minutes 
north latitude was u clear and indisputable. " Negotiations were 
promptly resumed after the inauguration of President Polk, but the 
government elected upon a pledge to support and maintain the claim 
of the United States up to the latitude of fifty-four degrees and forty 
minutes, abandoned its position and made the offer of a line on 
parallel forty-nine, which Great Britain at once accepted, with a 
modification that all of Vancouver Island should be left in British 
territory. A treaty on this basis was concluded and ratified June 
15, 1846, whereby the long disputed question of title and joint 
occupancy was settled. This acknowledgment of the American 
claim to Oregon was only a formal recognition of the fact that the 
long contest for the occupation of the country had terminated in 
favor of the Oregon pioneers. 

The news of the signing of the treaty was received in Oregon 
with feelings which plainly indicated the importance of the measure. 
Joint occupancy, that uncertain tenure by which power was held, 
was at an end. Threatened troubles with the Indians in Eastern 
Oregon, before mentioned, now made the people anxious that Con- 
gress should pass an act extending territorial government over the 

Early History of Oregon. 49 

country. To this end they put forth every endeavor. That the 
provisional government might be represented at Washington by a 
prominent and influential citizen, who would make known to the 
President and to Congress the exposed condition of the people, and to 
ask the necessary legislation to protect them from threatened danger, 
Gov. Abernethy sent Hon. J. Quinn Thornton, the Supreme Judge of 
the provisional government. Judge Thornton arrived in Boston in 
May, 1848, and at once proceeded to Washington, not as a delegate, but 
rather as an embassador from the little provisional government, to 
the national government at Washington. In the meantime the Whit- 
man massacre had occurred and the citizens were thrown into a state 
of mingled grief and alann. Joseph L,. Meek was, thereupon, sent 
as a .messenger to Washington under the sanction of the provisional 
legislature, to impart the intelligence, impress the authorities with 
the precarious condition of the colony and appeal for protection. 
The intelligence brought by Meek,, as well as his individual efforts, 
did much to aid Mr. Thornton and the friends of Oregon in Congress 
in securing the desired legislation. 

The most enthusiastic and helpful friend Oregon had at Wash- 
ington at this time was Senator Benton, who for twenty years had 
supported every measure that promised to advance American interest 
on this part of the Pacific Coast. With all his wonderful energy and 
ability this eminent man now labored to secure territorial govern- 
ment in Oregon. The bill creating the territory, drafted by Judge 
Thornton, contained a clause prohibiting slavery, and for this reason 
was objectional to the slave-holding power in Congress. Under the 
lead of Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun, a vigorous fight against 
the bill was made in the Senate. The contest during the last two 
days of the session was exciting in the extreme and the feeling intense 
throughout the Union. The friends of the measure, however, 
under the lead of Senator Benton, finally triumphed and on August 
13, 1848, the bill passed the Senate and a few hours later became 
a law by the signature of President Polk. The region specified in 
this act as Oregon Territory embraced all of the present States of 
Oregon and Washington, and those portions of Idaho and Montana 
lying west of the Rocky Mountains. 

50 History of Portland. 

One of the provisions of the territorial act was that it recognized 
the validity of the provisional government and the laws passed by it, 
and declared that they should remain in force until altered or repealed; 
and the officers of the government were authorized to exercise and 
perform the duties of their respective offices until their successors 
should be elected and qualified. No higher tribute could have been 
paid to the fitness of Americans for self government than this rati- 
fication of all the essential laws and acts of the provisional govern- 
ment of Oregon, which had been made and executed by the pioneer 
settlers for more than four years. It was the judgment of the whole 
nation, expressed by her representatives, that Americans could be 
trusted to plant the standard of freedom, and to welcome under its 
flag all friends of human rights. 

President Polk appointed General Joseph Lane, of Indiana, Gov- 
ernor of the new territory. He was a man of great executive ability. 
His brilliant services in Mexico had made him a popular hero, and 
earned for him the title of the '" Marion of the Mexican War." He 
immediately started for his new field of duty, and on the 3d day of 
March, 1849, the last day of Polk's administration, he issued his 
proclamation assuming the government. On the same day Governor 
Abernethy turned over to the new governor the records of the pro- 
visional government, " and so," says Bancroft, " without any noise 
or revolution the old government went out and the new came in. 
The provisional government was voluntarily laid down as it had 
voluntarily been taken up. It was an experiment on the part of the 
American people, who represented in this small and isolated commu- 
nity, the principles of self government in a manner worthy of the 
republican sentiment supposed to underlie the Federal Union by 
which a local population could constitute an independent State, and 
yet be loyal to the general government." 

The act organizing the territory of Oregon will ever be memorable 
in our national history for two reasons: First, because of the pro- 
visions for public education which granted the sixteenth and thirty- 
sixth section in each township and forever dedicated their proceeds 
as an irreducible fund, the interest of which should be devoted to 
public schools. This was a grant twice as large as that of 1787, 

Early History of Oregon. 51 

which had previously been the precedent observed by Congress in 
creating territories out of the public domain. The act of 1848 now 
became the precedent and has ever since been observed. It gave to 
the original territory of Oregon over 16,000 square miles of land for 
public schools, and opened the way for the grant of more than 
26,000,000 acres in the nine States, including Oregon, admitted to 
the Union since 1848. The idea of this magnificent donation, which 
will be of inestimable value to future generations, originated with 
Judge Thornton who framed the section in the territorial act, and 
who zealously labored to overcome the opposition it encountered at 
Washington. It was the inauguration of a liberal national policy in 
behalf of free education which should give imperishable fame to its 
author, a distinguished representative of the Oregon pioneers. 

The other fact which marks the creation of Oregon Territory as 
a grand and inspiring event was the clause relating to the entire and 
absolute exclusion of chattel slavery. This was in accord with the 
general wish of the pioneers. Their new empire on the Pacific; their 
toil to win it; their test of self government, all bore the seal of liberty. 
In putting slavery under perpetual ban in Oregon the whole region 
from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, was under pledge for the 
rights of man regardless of color or race. 

Thus briefly have we attempted to summarise the leading events 
in Oregon, from the time of the first explorations along the Pacific 
Coast till, under the strong hand of the whole nation, it rose from the 
weakness of a humble colony of adventurers to the rank and power 
of a co-ordinate member of the American Union. The event which 
the old pioneers had so long waited and hoped for had come and they 
were no longer counted exiles on a doubtful domain, but rightful 
fellow heirs and owners of the country. 

That the United States is indebted to the pioneers for the confirm- 
ation of its title to the American possessions west of the Rocky 
Mountains, will, perhaps, never be questioned. To the pioneer is due 
all the honor mankind willingly gives to the founders of States and 
the creators of civilization in savage lands. But that these 
were the motives which led to the colonization of Oregon, as some 
writers have intimated, is contradicted by patent facts and contrary to 
common sense. The early emigrants did not undertake the toilsome 

52 History of Portland. 

journey across the plains in the face of dangers and privations 
animated by a patriotic desire to save this land to the United States 
and plant the banner of republican liberty on the shores of the Pacific. 
For the most part they were men of limited means who sought a 
country where the restraints of civil and social institutions would 
press less hard upon individual freedom, and who in their plain way 
would have answered an inquiry for their motive in coming west with 
the common response that they had come to better their fortunes and 
in order that their children might u grow up with the country. " 
They were actuated by the same strong courage that has character- 
ized the enterprising frontiersmen in all our States. Circumstances 
called them to act a part which, in the light of subsequent events, is 
shown to have been of the utmost importance, securing to their 
country dominion over a vast empire. 

If, however, they did not come with an inspiration as absorbing 
as that which moved the old crusaders, it was one far more intelli- 
gent — an inspiration to seize the golden moments when peacefully, 
with their small means, they might possess themselves of homes, 
where prudence and economy after some discipline of pioneer hard- 
ship and privation would be sure of just rewards, and where ample 
means for the nurture and education of their children should be 
within the reach of every industrious citizen. Animated by high 
purposes they laid the foundations of this commonwealth in industry, 
frugality and the domestic virtues, and their descendants who enjoy 
all the blessings of their toils and privations, their trials and danger, 
will hold them in loving remembrance. 

For the purposes of this work it is unnecessary to follow the 
further steps of these State builders, whose prudence, loyalty and 
courage saved Oregon to the Union. In the fullness of time Oregon 
was decked with the honors of Statehood under the same perpetual 
dedication to equal rights and universal liberty for which its founders 
had so nobly battled. Its people may well take pride in the State, 
whether they contemplate it simply in its own greatness, or in com- 
parison with other States. In the main its record is a clear one, 
bearing upon it few marks that one would care to erase. It has been 
steadily advancing with strong and even pace, and has more than 
kept good the wonderful promise of its earliest years. 

Position and Advantages. 53 



The Modern City — A More Perfect Adaptation to Human Wants — Value of the 
Records of Such a City as Portland — Geographical Position — At the Intersection of 
the Great Natural Lines of Travel and Commerce of the Northwest Pacific Coast — 
Topography — Extent and Beauty of Surface — Natural Advantages for Commerce, for 
Manufacturing, for Residence — The Natural Center of the North Pacific Coast. 

AL/THOUGH of a different order, the history of the modern city 
should be no less interesting than that of an ancient metropolis 
like Jerusalem or Athens. It treats no less of human endeavor, and 
no less segregates and epitomizes human life. If that in which men 
busy themselves, and that which they produce is anywhere, or at any 
time, calculated to attract attention and demand investigation and 
analysis, why not here in Oregon, on the banks of the Willamette, as 
well as five to ten thousand miles away, in Spain or in Turkey? 

Unlike the ancient or medieval city, it does not embrace within 
its walls — in fact, boasting no walls — the whole life and history of a 
people. The Roman Empire without Rome would be like Hamlet 
without Hamlet. But America without New York City would still 
be America, lacking only some million and a half of people. In our 
modern life the process of civil and social organization has gone so 
far that the center of supreme interest is in the whole confederation, 
in the whole national life, or broadly, in the people themselves, and 
not restricted to any one locality, individual or race. It would, there- 
fore, be impossible to discover in any one American city a civil or 
political principle apart from that of the surrounding country. Fur- 
thermore, the motives or inducements that led to the building of a 
city in bygone times were unlike those of the present. Then a town 
was established by a tribe who first believed, or soon assumed that all 
its members had a common descent from some hero, or some patri- 
arch, or from some divinity, who was still patron and guardian. They 
threw around themselves the walls of a city in order to be secure from 
dispersion and from intermixture with the rest of mankind, and to 
have a place where they might cultivate their own religion, practice 
their own customs, celebrate their own festivals, and rear their children 

54 History of Portland. 

in their own traditions. For this purpose they chose a secure retreat, 
where they might easily put up fortifications, and cover the approaches 
by forts or walls. A cliff, a peak, or some huge rock, commended 
itself to their purposes. Jerusalem was set upon a high hill sur- 
rounded by mountains. The Acropolis in Athens, a rocky eminence 
with level top and steep sides, was the site of the original city. At 
Rome the Tarpeian Rock and kindred heights fixed the site of the 
mistress of the world. The termination "Tun," or " Ton " (Town), 
of many cities throughout England signifies a rock or bluff, and the 
"Burg" of the Germans has a kindred meaning; all going to show 
how the people in old times, and almost to the present, were accus- 
tomed to look around for a hill or crag as a site for their tribal or 
family seat. Round about these bluffs and hilltops the cities grew. 
Those cities which were successful gained in population by simple 
natural increase, or by means of raiding of other tribes and bringing 
in captives, who were set to work upon the outlying fields, in the 
shops, in erecting fortifications, or in constructing royal palaces. Free 
migration was practically unknown; for, although the citizens of one 
city might go on military or commercial, or occasional literary excur- 
sions to other places, it was unusual for them to abjure their rights 
in their native seat, or to acquire privileges elsewhere. The ancient 
city was a social aggregation which had its origin in an intense tribal 
idea, dominating religion and controlling social life, naturally allying 
itself to a military type, since only by force of arms could its existence 
be preserved or its dominion be extended. Commerce was a second- 
ary or even more remote consideration, and the free exchange of 
residence was, with few exceptions, impossible. 

How unlike all this is a modern American town! A city here is 
but a spot where population is more dense than elsewhere. The 
residents claim no blood relationship, have no common traditions or 
religion, and seek its limits only from eligibility of life. The wants 
of commerce or manufacturing chiefly determine its site, while all the 
uses and advantages of existence add their interest. There is absolutely 
no compulsion, either of ancestry, religion, tradition, social or political 
necessity; or fear of death, slavery, or loss of standing, or of wealth, 
impelling an American to live in one corporation rather than another, 

Position and Advantages. 55 

or to forsake the fields for the city. The arm of law rests over each of 
the seventy million inhabitants of the United States, and upon every 
acre of the national domain. Upon the high seas also, and in fact, 
in almost every part of the world, every American feels the potent 
protection of the flag of his country. Residence is therefore simply 
a matter of personal choice. One suits his place of abode to his 
business, to his aim in life, or to his physicial or moral necessity. If 
his object be the acquisition of wealth he goes where he can get 
money fastest. If he have some special field of labor, as invention, 
art, or literature, he seeks that center which affords him the highest 
advantages. Some are guided to a choice by a religious or philan- 
thropic mission to which they have deemed themselves called. 
Multitudes have no other incentive than an eagerness for amusement, 
or excitement, or the attraction of noise, and the exhiliration of 
being in a large place. The motive which impels the moving crowd 
on the street to press as near as possible to the scene of an accident or 
of excitement causes the more mercurial in the community to betake 
themselves to a large city in order to be near the animating events of 
the time as they occur. But without exhaustive enumeration, it 
need only be remembered that whether the motive of residence be 
grave or trifling, it is wholly free, and accordant with the aims and 
uses of the individual life. 

The growth of the city in our times is therefore much more than 
of old an accommodation to human wants and needs. Although the 
purpose to live in a certain municipality may, in many cases, spring 
from sordidness", in any case the choice is made from some sort of 
personal, attraction which frequently, perhaps commonly, rises to a 
feeling of affection, making the attachment of our citizens to their 
cities one of almost passionate energy. No ancient city ever com- 
manded from its most eminent people a more enthusiastic devotion 
than is accorded to our American cities by those who dwell in them ; 
and in none of our urban life is found a half or two-thirds of the 
population held by chains to a locality that is hateful to them. 

In modern times the principal thing that determines the building 
of a city at a particular place is the fact that at the point of its site the 
requirements of human life are found to exist in greater abundance 

56 History of Portland. 

than elsewhere in the near surroundings. Its growth is but the 
unfolding of its natural advantages; together with the attractions, 
facilities, and amenities that may be added by man. The natural ad- 
vantages, however, are the dominating principle, since improvements 
will not and indeed can never be added to any great extent where 
there is a natural obstacle. In the fierce competition of modern life, 
natural advantages will play more and more a controlling part. The 
man who can lift one pound more than his antagonist will just as 
surely surpass him as if the difference were one hundred pounds. 
The city that has commercial or manufacturing advantages over 
others of even a small part of one per cent will make that advantage 
tell in every transaction, and this will be just the feather that turns 
the scale. However great may be the enterprise of the opponent, or 
however willing it may be of sacrifice, it will find itself at last 
beyond its strength and its hopes must perish. 

In this view the growth of a modern city is of vast interest; 
necessarily so to the business man, for he must know precisely what 
are those circumstances which give empire to a town. Otherwise, 
he will fail to make the best investments. To the student of human 
life and social science it is no less attractive, for he is thereby 
assured of the laws or principle which guides the human mind when 
acting individually and freely. It also illustrates how nature, and 
through nature providence, is the maker of the centers of our modern 
life, and thereby, determines, or predetermines, the lines and bounds 
of civilization. 

In entering, therefore, upon this history of Portland as we 
withdraw our view from the larger circle of the early history of 
Oregon, we should not be understood as regarding it worthy of 
occupying a sphere of equal size with that of the nation, or of some 
ancient city which filled the Old World; but as treating of human 
action in an interesting phase, and as making clear what has been 
done in a city which will one day play an important part in the 
progress of our country. It will be nothing against it, that, as in a 
home or family it treats of men that we have known personally. 
History in all departments is ever pushing more closely to the roots 
of individual life, and what was once deemed beneath the dignity of 

Position and Advantages. , 57 

the historian's pen, as altogether too insignificant for notice, is now 
eagerly studied as making clear the progress of events. The crown 
and scepter and the false magnificence of antique pomp have at last 
fallen from the pages of history and the every day doings of people 
on the streets, in their homes and fields are seen to contain the 
potency of civilization. No human feelings or motives are despised, 
but are all recognized as the fountain from which are gathered the 
stately river of national life and social advancement. In no place 
can these primary endeavors be better examined or comprehended 
than in a young city like Portland. 


The western side of North America is laid out on a large scale, 
a land of the " Jo tuns, " a region of magnificent distances. It 
fronts the largest ocean; it has the most ample harbors, it is built out 
of the most continuous mountain ranges, and is watered by great 
rivers. It has large valleys and immense plateaus. Its geographical 
sections, the portions naturally connected by a coast, river, or moun- 
tain system, are wide and long, but the points which command 
natural ingress and egress to and from any one such section are 
comparatively few. Thus, on the whole of California's coast line of 
six hundred miles or more, there is but one natural exit to the sea, 
and but one point from which the whole region may be touched 
direct. But that point, San Francisco, commands the situation 

The mountain formation of the region north of California, giving 
character to the whole of Oregon and Washington, possesses a simi- 
lar integrity. It has a geometrical precision which all the variations 
of lateral ranges, lone peaks and inter-ranges, do not materially 
modify. Upon the eastern boundary the Rocky Mountains, which 
form the crest of the continent, set off by itself the Valley of the 
Columbia. The Cascade Mountains lying two hundred to three 
hundred miles westward of the Rocky range form the opposite rim of 
the basin making space for one of the most extensive, impressive, 
varied and fertile sections in the entire world. On the south, near 
the Oregon line, the elevated plains rise up in the Nevada Deserts, 

58 . History of Portland. 

and on the north far above the boundary of British Columbia the 
Selkirk Mountains and the Gold Range draw a jagged line between 
the waters of the Columbia and those of the Thompson and Fraser. 
When it is remembered that this Columbia Basin — perhaps four 
hundred by eight hundred miles in extent — is circled round by 
mountains of primitive rocks, bearing deposits of gold and veins of 
silver; beds of iron and of coal of unknown extent; lead, copper, 
and the other useful metals; and hills of marble, serpentine and other 
building stones; with abundant stores of gypsum and other sulphates; 
one will perceive what a seat of empire is embraced within these 
ranges. Moreover, on the top of these rocks, and in the illuvial 
valleys between is spread as fertile a soil as the world knows. 

The Cascade Mountains make almost a straight line from south to 
north; high, steep and turreted by a score of volcanic peaks which 
always wear the ermine of sovereignty. 

A hundred miles west of the Cascade Mountains is the lower but 
nevertheless eminent Coast Range presenting headlands to the sea 
and making difficult any passage inland from the ocean shore. 

As the most striking and, to this work, the most pertinent geo- 
graphical feature is the series of valleys from California to ' Puget 
Sound, lying between the Cascade and Coast Mountains and swelling 
or contracting to a width not far from fifty miles from west to east. 
Here are the Willamette, the Umpqua and the Rogue River Valleys 
in Oregon. In Washington the valleys of the Lewis River, the 
Chehalis, the Cowlitz; of the Puyallup, and of the Snoqualamie; with 
the gravel plains about the head of Puget Sound. All are of extra- 
ordinary beauty and almost universally fertile, and the sheltered 
passage way which they form within the ranges will be like an 
imperial roadway from north to south. Indeed this raceway of travel 
and commerce does not stop at either Puget Sound on the north or 
the Siskiyou Mountains on the California border toward the south. 
It continues northward down Puget Sound, through the waterways of 
the Georgian Gulf and the straits and passages of Western Alaska 
to the far north — the region of fish, of furs, and mountains of precious 
metals. At the other extremity it crosses the back of the Siskiyou 
Mountains and passes through the valleys of California, finding easy 

Position and Advantages. 59 

exit upon the waters of the Gulf of California. This passage by 
land and water of two thousand miles through some of the most 
charming and productive portions of the western world will necessa- 
rily pulsate with the tides of trade and travel. 

Now, to focalize our view, if we draw a line from the head of the 
Gulf of California to Mt. St. Elias in Alaska, by this chain of valleys 
and waterways, where do we find a cross line opening from the ocean 
to the Rocky Mountains, and allowing trade and travel to pass east 
and west as well as north and south? This cross line has been 
determined by the channel of flowing waters drawn from the Rocky 
Mountains across the Cascade and Coast Ranges to the Pacific — the 
Columbia River. A line of two thousand miles, a cross line of five 
hundred miles — these will ever be the thoroughfares of commerce 
and travel on the western Pacific shore. What is the natural place 
for the commercial metropolis of the region ? At the point of inter- 
section of the two. This is the geographical position of Portland. 
Although on the banks of the Willamette, she is also practically on 
the banks of the Columbia, her business portion constantly extending 
towards the imperial river. This, then is the most comprehensive 
description of Portland's geographical situation — At the cross-roads 
of a natural depression from California to Alaska and of the pathway 
of the Columbia from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. 

To define her position in more particular terms, she is located in 
latitude forty-five degrees and thirty minutes north; longitude one 
hundred and twenty-two degrees and twenty -seven minutes west on 
the left bank of the Willamette River, twelve miles below the Falls 
of that stream % at Oregon City, and ten miles above its confluence 
with the Columbia. It is one hundred and ten miles from the city 
by the Willamette and Columbia Rivers to the debouchure of the 
latter stream into the Pacific. As for distance to other well known 
points, it is about seven hundred miles to San Francisco by water, 
six hundred by rail; to the Cascades of the Columbia it is sixty 
miles; to the Dalles, ninety miles; to Walla Walla, two hundred and 
forty-five miles; to Spokane Falls, three hundred and seventy; to 
Lewiston, three hundred and fifty; to Salt L,ake City, nine hundred; 
to Helena, Montana, seven hundred and fifty; to Chicago, two 

60 History of Portland. 

thousand four hundred; to New York, three thousand three hundred. 
On the north to Olympia by rail it is one hundred and twenty miles; 
to Tacoma, one hundred and fifty; to Seattle, one hundred and 
eighty; to Port Townsend, two hundred and fifty; to Victoria, three 
hundred; to Vancouver, B. C, four hundred; to Sitka, nine hundred; 
On the south to Salem, the capital of Oregon, it is fifty miles; to 
Eugene City, the site of the State University, one hundred and 
twenty-five; to Roseburgh, in the Umpqua Valley, two hundred; to 
Jacksonville, in Rogue River Valley, three hundred. 

Portland sits at the mouth of the Willamette Valley, and practi- 
cally at the mouth of the Columbia Basin. To pass from San 
Francisco by rail to Puget Sound, or vice versa, one must go by 
Portland. To pass by water from the sea coast to the Inland Empire, 
as the Columbia Basin is sometimes termed, one must pass Portland. 
Take a map, make Portland a center, and draw from this center 
lines along the natural gaps and depressions to other parts of the 
Pacific Northwest, and there will be formed a circle of which these 
lines are approximately the radii. 

Topographically considered Portland is laid out by nature on a 
scale commensurate with the geographical environment of which she 
is the center. All along the south bank of the Columbia, and the 
west bank of the Willamette, from the ocean for more than one 
hundred miles, even to the Falls of the Willamette at Oregon City, 
there is a range of low mountains or hills, lying almost the entire 
distance against the waters of these rivers and in many places jutting 
upon them in a heads and escarpments. These highlands, for fifty 
miles of their distance from the sea, are the broken terminals of the 
Coast Mountains, laid open by the flow of the Columbia. For the 
remainder of their extent they break down into lower elevations, 
known as the Scappoose Hills, or still further south, as the Portland 
Hills. They are an older formation, containing much of sandstone 
and Andesite, and are in many cases wholly lacking the basaltic 
covering which is well nigh universal in this northwestern region. 
At the mouth of the Willamette one finds a delta, which on the 
south, is embraced by the arm of the river that was formerly called 
in the Indian language by the liquid name of Multnomah. From 

Position and Advantages. 61 

this water, now termed Willamette Slough, which separates the 
largest of the islands of the delta from the main land, the hills rise 
abruptly, with but a narrow strip of alluvial soil unfit for building. 
Following up this slough to its point of departure from the main 
river, the hills still impend upon the west, their natural abruptness 
being much emphasized by the dense growth of evergreen forests 
whose unbroken wall of tops add some hundreds of feet to their 
apparent altitude. At a point ten miles from the mouth of the 
Willamette, however, one finds a great bend in the river, which now 
comes directly from the south, whereas, hitherto one found it flowing 
from the southeast. Here has been formed the site of Portland. 

By the casting up of alluvium against the foot of the hills, and 
the formation of the river bank at some distance eastward, shallow 
lagoons have been formed, which during seasons of flood are 
united with the general flow of the river making a continuous body 
of water. Here are Balch's, Guild's and Couch's Lakes. From the 
shore of the latter, as well as from the banks of the river, the land 
rises at an easy gradient, reaching at a distance of half a mile from 
the river a plateau one hundred feet above the level of the water. At 
a distance of about a mile from the river, the plateau joins abruptly 
the chain of hills, which here lift their fronts sharply six hundred 
feet above the Willamette. From Couch's Lake on the north to the 
end of the sloping plateau on the south, where the impending hills 
again approach the river, and terminate the prospect, it is a distance 
of two and one-half miles. It is nowhere above a mile wide. It is 
moreover cleft by a small stream coming from the west — Tanner 
Creek — which throws one portion of the site of the city toward the 
south, with rounded surface, against the foot of the southern bosses 
of the hill chains, and the other portion toward the north with 
various undulations, against the northern and more retrogradient 
peaks. The cleft, however, is not deep, nor abrupt, and gives a 
delightful and expressive variation to the face of the site. This, 
then, is the topography of the city — a gentle slope, rising up from 
the river and lake to the hills a mile back, within the elbow of the 
river, and under the shelter of the highlands. The plat slopes north- 
east, and embraces somewhat less than three square miles in area. It 

62 History of Portland. 

is cosy, protected from the southern storm, sufficiently well watered to 
be green the year around, and is constantly fanned by the breezes of 
the river. 

But while this formed the limits of the original city, the additions 
have spread far beyond these bounds, and manifestly if the city is to 
grow it must overflow, as it has already done far beyond its two or 
three square miles. The surface of the surrounding region, far from 
forbidding such extension, is favorable and inviting to it. It has 
recently been recognized that the outlying hills are most advanta- 
geous for residence. They rise up in separate spurs and are steep and 
abrupt, having all the appearance of having been cut into their present 
form by the erosion of sea waves, as was undoubtedly the case 
when the general level of Oregon was so much depressed in remote 
times, as to allow the flow of ocean water over the entire surface 
of the Willamette Valley. There may be reckoned at least six of 
these prominences. Beginning on the north back of Couch's Lake, 
we have Willamette Heights; next south are King's Heights, over- 
looking the City Park. South of this across the deep canyon of 
Tanner Creek is Carter's Hill, which was the first to be called 
Portland Heights. Next in order is Robinson's Hill, succeeded by 
Marquatn's Hill, upon which is located the addition sometimes called 
Portland Homestead. To close the view are the South Portland 
Heights. There are upon all these highlands many knobs and knolls, 
separated from one another by small ravines all of which make back 
and disappear at length in the solid body of the chain. The elevation 
attained by these heights is from six hundred to eight hundred feet. 
But they roll upward and finally culminate in a commanding ridge 
whose eastern terminus rises highest, of all and is named Mt. Zion, 
over 1,000 feet in altitude. It looks eastward across the river. The 
western extension of the same ridge, Humphrey's Mountain, com- 
mands the prospect toward the Tualatin plains and the Coast 
Mountains. These heights, having an infinite variety of surface, 
with innumerable networks of ravines, afford an almost countless 
variety of sitely building spots. An exposure facing any sun or 
wind may be obtained and in the deeper depressions locations sheltered 
from all the storms may be readily found. South and east of Tanner 

Position and Advantages. 63 

Creek canyon, the heights, including Mt. Zion and Humphrey's 
Mountain, with their skirts and flanks, compose a region of about 
six square miles. North and west of the canyon, the ridge is some 
three miles broad, and extends parallel with the river indefinitely. 
Ten square miles are within easy reach of the city. Still south of 
the heights proper the chain of hills continue, although it breaks 
down to a much lower altitude, and form a rolling plateau two miles 
broad, by four or five in length. This makes a region extraordinarily 
sightly and sunny, and while not so much diversified as the heights, 
it is much more easily reduced to form and use — indeed not betraying 
by contour its elevation, but presenting the appearance of an undula- 
ting plain. It is easily accessible to the city, and will one day be a 
portion of it. 

From the highest points of all the elevations named the scenery is 
unrivaled. They command the prospect of the Willamette River, 
its winding and silvery way to its delta and union with the Columbia; 
and for many miles a connected view of that greater stream and its 
path from the heart of the Cascade Mountains and the chasm in their 
walls out of which it proceeds. There are also embraced wide strips 
of meadow land, plains, illimitable forests, buttes and romantic hills; 
the vanishing wall of the Cascade Mountains, with Hood, St. Helens, 
Rainier, Adams, Jefferson, all being volcanic peaks covered with 
perpetual snow, in unobstructed view. Seldom is there such a com- 
bination of water, valley, hill and mountain scenery to be embraced 
in one prospect. All in all there are twenty-five (or a much larger 
nupiber if necessary) square miles of land ready for the use of Portland 
on the west side of the Willamette. 

But this is exclusive of the east side, which by many is deemed 
the fairer of the two. Its surface is totally different from that 
which has just been considered, since it is not at all mountainous, and 
little broken. It is on the other hand, an imperial plain, with long 
easy slopes, wide expanses, and but occasional elevations. Beginning 
six miles below Portland on the east bank of the river one finds at 
St. Johns the first highland, north of which are river bottoms and 
illuvial plains subject to the overflow of the Columbia. This eleva- 
tion rises sharply one hundred feet above the river and making a slow 

64 History of Portland. 

ascent gains another hundred feet of altitude before reaching its 
maximum. Its slopes are long and sweeping, maintaining their 
elevation with more or less regularity up to Albina nearly opposite 
Portland. Back some distance from the river the plain rises again 
fifty feet, or possibly in some places one hundred feet more, to a con- 
tinuous ridge, a bank of ancient washed gravel, brought down in 
long ages past by torrents from the Cascade Mountains, and here 
deposited while yet the sea rolled in. The gravel ridge once attained, 
the surface steadily falls to seek the level of the Columbia on the 
farther side. Highland, Piedmont, Columbia Heights, and other 
names significant of the elevated region are bestowed upon various 
portions of this gravel ridge. From Albina southward the surface 
sinks by small degrees, broken here and there by ravines, until at the 
site of East Portland, three profound chasms or gulches, unite to 
form an illuvial bottom, making easy ingress from the river, but a 
bad water front. The first of these on the north is Sullivan's Gulch, 
fifty feet deep and two hundred yards across; its bed a morass. It is 
down this cleft that the O. R. & N. R. R. finds a passage from the 
plain to the river level. Next south is Asylum Gulch, leading back 
to a powerful spring which leaps from under the plain behind, giving 
birth to a stream of water sufficient for the supply of the water works 
of East Portland. A mile south of this is Stephens Gulch, bearing 
off another clear stream, of many times the volume of the foregoing, 
which also springs bodily from the ground. It is by this depression 
that the O. & C. R. R. passes out of the city. South of the mouth of 
Stephens Gulch, the ground once more rises, gaining an altitude 
about the same as that of Albina, and it is called Brookland. On the 
obverse slope, however, it sinks to a considerable vale. 

The strip of alluvium in front of East Portland, at the mouth ol 
the gulches, is but a few hundred paces across, and thence the sur- 
face rises easily, nowhere attaining an elevation of more than one 
hundred feet, and develops into a plain with many variations of 
surface leading out three miles further to Mt. Tabor. This is a 
solitary hill seven hundred feet in height with a commanding front 
and long approaches. Its slopes are most inviting for residence 
property, the soil is congenial to gardens and orchard trees, and its 

' Position and Advantages. 65 

rocks of basalt give birth to a multitude of delicious springs. It is 
in truth a reservoir of water, as are the hills on the west. East of 
Mt. Tabor the plains extend for many miles with an occasional little 
butte or ridge; and to the south the surface rolls away in a woody 
expanse with frequent hills which break down at length on the 
margin of the Clackamas, a half score of miles distant. Comprehen- 
sively, therefore, the east side of the river opposite Portland is a plain 
— with undulations and a few hills — eight or ten miles long, and as 
many wide. The site of Portland may therefore be briefly described as 
a sloping plateau within the elbow of the Willamette, surrounded by 
hills, opposite a great undulating plain. This situation is unsur- 
passed for a great city. 

The Willamette river, immediately above the city, spread out in 
shallows and enlarged by alluvial islands, is there above half a mile 
wide. Obstructed, however, by the high point of Brookland, and 
thrown from the east to the west shore, it rapidly narrows, being 
but fourteen hundred feet across at Morrison street, near the center 
of the city. Thrown again from the solid bank of the plat on which 
the city stands to the east shore, striking a mile further down upon 
the elevated plains of East Portland, below the gulches, it is forced 
into one strong deep channel, wearing the face of the upland into an 
almost perpendicular bluff fifty feet high — the formation exposed 
being lacustrine clay, over-lying a mixture of coarse sand and washed 
gravel. At this point the river is but eight hundred feet across. It 
thence expands slightly ; still wearing the Albina shore, as its course is 
deflected westward; swelling at Swan Island to as great a width as at 
Ross Island. The depth of water at Ross Island is but nine feet. 
Below this obstruction the depth rapidly increases, reaching sixty feet 
off the lower wharves of the city, near the railroad bridge. At Swan 
Island the narrow channel hugging the east shore gives a depth of 
twenty-six feet which is frequently doubled by the vast rise of the 
Columbia in the summer. 

The term " advantages" is relative, being always used with 
reference to the purpose in view. The advantages of a city relate 
to its adaptation to the uses of commerce, manufacturing and 

66 History of Portland. 

residence. Uuder the head of commerce, facility for both water and 
land communication is to be regarded, together with the extent and 
variety of commodities available for exchange. Under manufactur- 
ing advantages, power, labor, and availability of raw material, fall into 
the account. As to residence one must consider salubrity, beauty of 
natural surroundings and contiguity to his business operations, 
together with social, educational and religious privileges. 

The geographical position of Portland, which has already been 
described, gives her superior advantages as a commercial center. 
That will be a commanding commercial point which readily effects 
exchanges of commodities and equates supply and demand. Chicago 
is a center of lumber trade, controlling this great branch of business 
throughout the Lake basin and the Mississippi valley, for the reason 
that she can most readily reach the lumber manufacturing districts of 
Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada, and can keep in supply 
.millions of feet of seasoned and assorted lumber, ready for the 
greatest number of places in the surrounding regions. Her control 
of this trade is sometimes spoken of as due to the superior enterprise 
of her merchants. But this is true only in a secondary degree. 
From the circumstance of her geographical position there is a greater 
number of builders and others who can more easily find at her yards 
the lumber they desire, than at any other city. They find the 
quickest and cheapest route between them and the sawmills, to lead 
through Chicago. If they can save a few hours time and a few 
dollars in money upon every bill, they are certain to send to Chicago. 
The extent of patronage, the rapidity of their sales, the speedy return 
of their money and the consequent large margins of profit, enable the 
Chicago dealers to enlarge their stock and to supply still more 
quickly and satisfactorily all the needs of their customers, and by 
this to attract more and more business, and finally to under-sell the 
smaller and less equipped houses of even distant cities. In like man- 
ner from her proximity to the grain fields, and from her shipping 
facilities, she largely controls the wheat business ; in like manner she 
is a center for market and sale of the beef and pork of the Mississippi 

Position and Advantages. 67 

Any great commercial city, as London, New York, or the younger 
cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, would serve an equally good 
purpose by way of illustration. A commercial city is the point of 
storage, account and exchange for the commodities of the region. 

The advantages of Portland as such a center are at once apparent 
As noticed above she is the c ' cross- ways ' ' of the track between the 
mountains from California to Alaska, and the path made by the 
Columbia River from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. 
At this point are made four right angles, fixing the center of a circle 
a radius of which a hundred miles long embraces solid land only, and 
at four hundred miles includes within the western arc a portion of the 
ocean, which is by no means an unproductive segment. It must fol- 
low "from this position that she can reach a greater number of 
producers and consumers than any point not located at such a natural 
center. This fact, other things being equal, simply assures her com- 
mercial pre-eminence. 

But to make this commanding position certain, it will be neces- 
sary to be assured as to the avenues of approach from the four 
cardinal points of the compass. If it be true that Portland is at the 
natural center of the Pacific Northwest, a region six hundred miles 
square, and the avenues of approach are easy and secure, no one can 
doubt that she will continue to be the metropolis of this country, and 
perhaps rival San Francisco, as being the center of a region more 
extensive and productive. This is no fancy, as is evidenced by the 
impression made in by-gone times upon commercial men as they 
examined her geographical situation. Looking at the map of old 
Oregon, while he was still in Boston half a century or more ago, 
Hall J. Kelley, a patriot, and originator of a scheme which was much 
patronized by leading men in Massachusetts, laid off a great city as a 
capital for the new commonwealth which he was to establish on the 
Pacific coast. He put this chief city on his map at the junction of the 
Willamette with the Columbia, not knowing that this site was flood 
land. Portland now occupies the spot nearest available to Kelley' s 
city. Still further, when the Hudson's Bay Company wished to build 
a fort from which to reach most easily all points of the Northwest, both 
by land and sea, they selected a site as near to our city as their 

68 History of Portland. 

necessities would admit — building a fort at Vancouver. They would 
probably have brought it nearer the Willamette, on the south side -of 
the Columbia if the land had been fit for building, and if they had 
not anticipated that England would not secure the south bank. This 
tells the tale of the natural center of the Pacific Northwest. 

To examine the avenues of approach and to see if they are suffi- 
cient to supplement this imperial position, it will be most convenient 
to begin our scrutiny from the west. Here is found a water-way at 
tide level of over a mile in width leading up from the Pacific between 
the hills to the docks of our city/ The Columbia River on this lower 
course, is one of the most majestic of streams, and is unrivaled for 
navigation. Its fresh waters destroy those forms of marine life inimi- 
cal to dock-yards and wooden piling, and clear the ships of their 
accretions of barnacles, as they come in from the sea. It is true that 
it is obstructed to some extent by a bar at its entrance, but under the 
operation of the jetty constructed by the government this is being 
constantly cut down by confinement of the waters, and a depth of 
thirty feet or perhaps more, at low water, sufficient for the deepest 
vessels will be secured. There is now a sure depth of twenty-six feet 
at low water. By the use of dredgers, jetties, and wing dams the 
bars in the river between the sea and Portland, are rapidly disappear- 
ing and in a very few years all obstructions will have ceased to exist. 
It is simply a matter of improvement, which is wholly practicable, 
to make the lower Columbia and Willamette fit for the largest craft 
that floats. This improvement is now progressing and the commerce 
of all the world, or such part of it as floats on ships, may therefore be 
brought to Portland. The entrance from the sea could not be more 
advantageous. It is not so deep or wide as the Straits of Fuca, and 
Puget Sound. But it does not appear that one or two hundred feet 
of depth or five miles of width more than necessary would give even 
the Straits of Fuca any decided advantage. Both are royal water 
ways from the sea, naturally, or easily made, ample for the largest 
vessels. The superior width of the Straits allows of sailing more 
easily than in the Columbia, while the fresh water of our river is a 
great advantage to foul keels. 

Position and Advantages. 69 

The gap through the coast mountains formed by the passage of the 
Columbia makes also a pass at tide level for the construction of rail- 
ways from the ocean to Portland. The route is easy and direct, and 
from Hunter's point, opposite Kalama to Portland it is occupied by the 
track of the Northern Pacific. The convenience and speed attained 
on the river has retarded rather than otherwise the construction of a 
road from Astoria, but there is no natural obstruction. 

Toward the North, to Puget Sound, British Columbia and Alaska, 
there is a natural route, passing through the valley of Cowlitz River 
and thence by water, or, as ultimately will be the case, the whole 
distance by rail. On the whole course of the lower - Columbia 
numerous small rivers enter the great stream, navigable by steamers 
of light draft, the towns beside which are, and will be more and more 
supplied from the markets of Portland. The numerous sea coast 
towns, at the mouth of the small rivers, and on the small bays, con- 
veniently find a market and emporium at Portland. 

Toward the south extends the Willamette Valley, making a way 
practically level for a hundred and fifty miles. Beyond this the gen- 
eral slope of the country is still upward — across hills and valleys — to 
the crest of the granite Siskiyou Mountains three hundred miles dis- 
tant on the California border. This whole region of Western Oregon, 
most productive in grain and fruit, finds its emporium at Portland. 
It is large enough and has the resources for sustaining a population of 
four millions. When this figure is reached, one-sixth this number 
will be found at Portland. Not only may this country of Western 
Oregon be reached from Portland by lines of rail which slope thither, 
but a very large portion of the Willamette River is a water-way 
directly to her docks. This is an easy and inviting path to enterpris- 
ing steamers, and while not now bearing and perhaps not likely to 
bear the great bulk of freight, has great and permanent value in 
preventing railroad monopoly and in keeping freight rates at a normal 
figure. It is not improbable that the value of water as an agent 
for moving heavy and bulky products will be more and more recog- 
nized by the agricultural population, and the hundred streams that 
meander from the mountains to the Willamette, across level plains 
and through deep valleys, will be cleared of drift wood, deepened 

70 History of Portland. 

and straightened, arid as they flow on will carry also along with them 
a multitude of loaded barges. Each such stream is the basis of a 
canal, and this abundance of water will make every farming commu- 
nity independent, and forever keep down extortionate rates of trans- 
portation. As all the water of this great valley flows past Portland, 
so must all the commerce which it bears. 

But broad and easy as are the avenues of approach from the west, 
the north, and the south, and large as is the region thus brought 
within the reach of her commerce, it is from the east that the greatest 
portion of her trade must come ; and it is true beyond all controversy 
that the city which is the emporium for the Columbia Basin will 
lead all others. On those immense plains and uplands with multitudes 
of valleys upon their environs, leading back into the old hills and 
towering mountains, there is room for the seat of a nation equal to 
France. Here are two-thirds of Oregon and Washington, all Idaho, 
and large parts of Montana and British Columbia. It is a region 
where the cereals average twice as much per acre as in Dakota ; 
where fruits flourish in sheltered localities as in the deep valleys, beside 
lakes, and along the rivers ; where live stock of all kinds transform 
the wealth of the pastures into value, and where mineral treasures 
are of vast and unknown extent. 

By many it will be strenously denied that Portland can be the 
emporium for this region. Some other point it is contended, as upon 
Puget Sound, will most readily command the trade. But Portland's 
strength is assured by the following considerations : The trade of 
the Columbia Basin will flow westward to the Pacific Ocean. It will 
seek the most direct and eaSy route thither, since thereby its producers 
will pay less rates for transportation of their products. The tributa- 
ries of the Columbia, from the borders of Utah, to the borders of 
British Columbia and from the eastern flanks of the Cascade Moun- 
tains spread out like the ribs of a fan; all converge upon the main 
Columbia, and thus unitedly pass through the gap of the Cascade 
Mountains on to Portland. It is simply a principle of physics that 
any body, whether a ball or a train of cars, will roll most readily 
down an inclined plane, and that friction or traction is increased by 
the attempt to go up hill. But from the head of Snake river to the 

Position and Advantages. 71 

head of the Colnmbia, or of any tributary of either river, to Portland, 
is an inclined plane hither. To be sure the canyons of both these 
rivers and of many of their tributaries, are rugged, but once let a road 
be laid alongside their banks or down the general valley, and there 
is a preceptibly down grade the entire distance, adding the force of 
gravity to the wheels of the engines to help them with their loaded 
trains. The gap of the Columbia is the only pass through the chain 
of the Cascade Mountains at the level of tide water. All other passes 
lead over the main axis of the range at an elevation of three to four 
thousand feet. It is manifestly more expensive of time and force to 
draw a train over the back of the Cascade Mountains to Puget Sound 
than to bring it through the gap of the Columbia on a down grade. It is 
the inland farmer and merchant who must pay the difference, and 
however slow they may be in recognizing this, they will, with the 
certainty of water finding its level, choose the route which makes 
their bill the least. It is true that the roads to Portland may not 
always charge their minimum, but if they are able, by reason of nat- 
ural advantages, to carry at a less rate than is possible for the roads 
across the mountains, they will at the scratch come down to it, and 
make that advantage the make- weight in their struggle. Any road 
which can persistently carry merchandise at one cent per hundred or 
even per ton, less than its rivals, will beat them in the long run. 
The natural grade to Portland from all parts of the inland country 
gives her thus much advantage. But, to complete the circle of ex- 
change, if the wheat, live stock and ores of the upper country come 
down to Portland, this will be the most advantageous point at which 
to procure merchandise and necessaries for that entire region. Port- 
land can thereby most readily receive the products of the Columbia 
basin, and supply the mercantile wants of her people. 

The above reasoning not presented as a special plea in favor of 
Portland, but simply as a statement of the facts in the case, is 
absolutely conclusive of the natural pre-eminence of the city at the 
entrance to the gateway of the upper Columbia. 

But this only half states the case. While the waters of the 
Columbia and its tributaries have made passes to all parts of the river 
basin for the railroad, they are themselves a means of transportation 

72 History of Portland. 

of the most gigantic power. To be sure, this river, and the rivers 
which feed it, are wild and violent streams. They flow with great 
force, often break into rapids, and are at many places obstructed by 
rocks. The Columbia has four impassable rapids, or cataracts, and 
half a dozen others of such strength as to strain a strong steamer in 
passing. The Snake river is swift and turbulent through a large 
part of its course and boasts the highest water fall of any great river 
in North America. Such streams as the Deschutes, John Day, 
Klickitat, Yakima, Spokane, Palouse, Pend d' Oreille, Okanagon and 
Kootenai, or the tributaries of the Snake, for the larger portions of 
their way are fierce torrents cutting their canyons hundreds and in 
places thousands of feet deep into solid rock. But it is by no means 
impossible to bring most of these rivers into use for the purposes of 
commerce. By canals, locks, boat railways, wing dams and removal 
of obstructions, the Columbia may be made navigable for all sorts of 
river craft, for one thousand miles. It will thereby become an artery 
of commerce bearing a fleet of steamers and barges loaded with grain 
and ores. Any product might thus be brought even from the British 
line at prices which literally ' ' defy competition. ' ' The opening of 
the Snake river to its head waters would be a matter of more difficulty, 
but to the Salmon Falls the river may be improved so as to 
accommodate steamboats of all kinds. Every one of the hundred 
minor streams might likewise be made fit for bearing off the abundant 
products of the soil. The time may come when a net work of canals, 
both for irrigation and for the uses of commerce will cover the surface 
of the Columbia Basin. Such commerce will necessarily flow to the 
Columbia, and to Portland. The value of water will be better 
understood. The railroad as an agent for transportation has been 
exaggerated somewhat out of its natural proportions. Its great speed 
will always commend it to travelers, but in the movement of such 
heavy articles as grain and minerals, rocks and wood, the slower but 
less expensive water will play a very important part. As population 
increases in the continental areas, there will spring up a class of 
hydraulic engineers and inland navigators bringing our numberless 
rivers to their highest use as generators of power, as means of 
irrigation and of transportation. 

Position and Advantages. 73 

As was noticed in reference to the waters of the Willamette 
Valley these streams of the Columbia Basin will have a high value 
in restraining railroads from extortionate charges. This will make 
the people of the upper country independent, and they will naturally 
look to the city which they reach at minimum expenditure for 
supplies and make it their commercial center. 

It is clear beyond all contradiction that, with the Columbia river 
and its tributaries open to navigation, Portland commands the 
interior as no other city on tide water. By no possibility can any 
port on Puget Sound have two thousand miles of river navigation, 
laying open the continent as far as Idaho, Montana and British 
Columbia. By choice of rail or river, and by the judicious use of 
each, Portland and her inland customers will be brought into 
communication at the greatest possible economy of both time and 
money, and the business between them will therefore flourish at the 
least possible expense. 

It is sound policy, therefore, for the people of Portland to push 
vigorously for the opening of the upper Columbia. The work at 
the Cascades, however, is progressing, and no doubt within ten 
years the two thousand miles of inland navigation will no longer be 
locked up by rocks and shoals. 

By the foregoing examination it appears that while Portland sits 
at the cross roads of the great North, South, East and West tracks 
of commerce, her avenues of approach from every quarter are 
perfect, or certainly capable of being made so. If this does not 
enable her to do a wider, more expeditious, more direct and 
comprehensive business than any other place on the North Pacific 
Coast, there is nothing in position. Such are her commercial 

While noting these advantages as pre-eminent, it will not be 
contended that there is no room for other great cities on the Coast. 
Puget Sound will certainly have three or four ; the Inland Empire, 
half a dozen. At the mouth of the Columbia there will be a large 
lumbering, coaling, and shipping city. At Yaquina, at Coos Bay, 
and in Southern Oregon there will be large towns. But the larger 
and more active these surrounding places, the more populous and 

74 History of Portland. 

energetic will be the center, for through it can they .all most readily 
reach each other, and the business which is common to the whole 
section must be transacted here. 

Next in line comes consideration of Portland's advantages as a 
manufacturing point. First, as to raw material. It scarcely need be 
said that if Portland can reach every part of the Northwest by natural 
channels and roadways, she can readily obtain all raw materials 
produced in the section. L,ogs for manufacturing lumber may be 
brought up the Columbia or floated down it, or floated down the 
Willamette, or brought on rail cars from the forests to left or right. 
Materials for the manufacture of paper are found near. Woods for 
excelsior, furniture and ship-building are no less at hand, Wheat, 
oats, rye, barley, for bread stuffs and meals; wool, flax, hemp, for 
cloths, twines and ropes; broom corn; manilla (from abroad) for 
ropes; tar and turpentine; ores of lead, silver, gold, copper and quick- 
silver, nickel and manganese from the whole circle of mountains; 
limestone; cement rock, marble, all may be obtained from places 
comparatively near. Iron, the sine qua non of modern civilization, 
lies in hills of limonite six miles north, and also eight miles south, 
and exists to even a greater extent in portions of Columbia County 
distant twenty to forty miles. Other iron beds are accessible from 
all parts of the Northwest. Such a list of materials for manufac- 
tures at her very doors, which must in truth pass by her to go else 
where for working up, shows that Portland has no lack of stuff to 
begin on. 

While material is thus abundant — inexhaustible — power equal to 
it may be found as near. Coal exists in vast deposits in the mountains 
forty miles northwest, and may be obtained also in ships or by car- 
loads from a dozen other points. But the great source of power is the 
Fall of the Willamette at Oregon City, twelve miles south. This is 
one half greater in energy than the fall of St. Anthony, in the Miss- 
issippi, at Minneapolis. It is forty feet high at low water of the 
Columbia, and is six 'hundred feet across and never ice bound. 
Streams might be led out from above this fall and conducted in 
flumes along the hillsides to Portland, and there be made to energize 
machinery. But it is now a more popular method to reduce this power 

Position and Advantages. 75 

by means of dynamos, to electricity, and convey it upon wires direct to 
the machine rooms in the factories at Portland. The loss is found 
to be but eighteen per cent. 

As if this fall of the Willamette were not enough — sufficient to 
drive the looms of Manchester — there are sixty miles distant the Cas- 
cades of the Columbia, of one hundred times greater strength — prac- 
tically unlimited and infinite. At this point the Columbia falls thirty 
feet in less than three miles, with a volume varying according to the 
season from ten million to seventy million cubic feet per minute 
— quite equal to that of the Mississippi at its mouth. There is no 
place in the world were there is such an aggregate of water power on 
tide water, as at Portland, obtaining its supply from these two 
cataracts. Power for manufacturing, like raw material, is found here 
existing to an extent beyond all calculation. It only remains to put 
the two together to do the manufacturing of the world. Of course 
means of exit and transport of the manufactured articles are as good 
as the means of bringing in the raw materials. 

It only remains to consider the supply of labor to close the circle 
of manufacturing. Laborers by the thousands may be gotten in a 
few weeks from all parts of the world. The question is whether the 
conditions are such that once here they can work as cheap and 
efficiently as elsewhere. It seems likely that in a region where food 
and fuel are unusually plentiful and cheap, and where from the 
mildness of the climate fuel is not used to so great an extent as in 
colder regions, the cost of living would be so much reduced that a 
laborer could afford to work for at least as small wages here as 
elsewhere. Nor, with proper sanitary regulations does any reason 
appear why they should not work as efficiently. Particularly, as 
seems likely if the laborers made homes on the cheaper lands of the 
hills northwest of the city, or on the highlands northeast, the greater 
salubrity of these elevations should impart unusual force and vigor 
both of body and mind. The healthfulness of Portland is equal to 
that of Philadelphia, the great manufacturing city of America. 

With command of unlimited material, power and labor, Portland 
has advantages for manufacturing in excess of any city on the Pacific 
Coast, if not in the world. Indeed, it is unique and remarkable in 
this regard. 

76 History of Portland. 

The subject of salubrity and advantages of scenery, education 
and society — partly natural, partly artificial — will appear farther on 
in this volume, and may be omitted here. 

As to the advantages to be derived from topography, the 
description of the city's site, with reference to the hills and river as 
given above, exhibits its abundance of water front ; its low lands 
easy for the use of wholesale houses and heavy business, for elevators, 
manufactories and mills ; its easy slopes; well adapted to the use of 
hotels, retail houses, offices and shops ; and the circle of highlands, 
whose eminences, knolls and peaks lift the residence portion some 
hundreds of feet above the smoke, surcharged air, mist and malaria 
to be met more or less at or near the river level. Indeed the 
atmosphere of the Portland hills is remarkably delicate and pure, 
having come for the most part from the west as a sea breeze, bearing 
the salty and tonic properties of its native region, which are destructive 
to the land-born germs of microbes and bacteria. It is rendered 
moreover perceptibly odoriferous and balsamic by its passage over the 
forests of fir trees. 

For a great shipping point or harbor, one might think the 
Willamette too narrow. But as the need of more room is felt it will 
be entirely practicable, as has been suggested by government 
engineers, to cut slips into the alluvium and lagoons at the lower 
end of the city for dock room and ship accommodations of any desired 

Settlement and Early Times. 77 

settlement and early times. 

Portland Antedated by other Cities on the Willamette and Columbia — Efforts to 
Find a Commercial Center — William Overton the First Owner — Gen. A. L. Lovejoy — 
Francis W. Pettygrove — The First Cabin — Name Bestowed — Site Platted — Daniel H. 
Lownsdale — Stephen Coffin — William W. Chapman — Depletion by the Rush to the 
Gold Fields — Return of Pioneers — New Comers — Improvements — First Newspaper — 
Opening of the Plank Road — Purchase of the Steamship Gold Hunter — List of 
the Business Houses and of Residences Prior to 1851. 

IT is to be borne in mind that there was in Oregon an ancient 
circles of cities whose rise and growth belong to a day earlier than 
that of Portland. By reference to the chapter upon the earliest times 
and the provisional government, one will see that Astoria, down near 
the Ocean, had already been flourishing, amid its gigantic spruce 
trees and sea breezes, for more than thirty years, and for a part of the 
time figured as the sole American city on the Pacific Coast. It had 
furthermore so far attracted the attention as to have become the 
subject of one of Irving' s historical romances, and was reckoned along 
with Mexico and Cuzco as one of the great cities of Western exploit 
and renown. 

Vancouver, the most distant seat of the great English fur 
monopoly, whose proprietors sat in Parliament in London, and had 
Princes on the list of their business progenitors and patrons, had been 
in existence twenty years, and the chief factor who sat in its office 
and looked up and down the broad Columbia for the coming and 
going of his bateaux and the motley fleet of Indian canoes and 
pirogues, had grown white-headed in this long expanse of historic 
time before Portland had its first cabin. 

Oregon City, five years later (1829), was selected as a site for a city 
by Dr. Mclaughlin, and he was accustomed to send up thither little 
squads of Canadians with axes and picks to slash brush and cut trees 
and to dig among the boulders and gravel, somewhat after the manner 
of the modern pre-emptor or homesteader, to show that the place was 
his, even though he were not upon it the whole time. In 1840 a 
number of Methodist Missionaries looked upon this site by the Falls, 

78 History of Portland. 

and concluded, being Americans, that they had as much right to the 
place as any one, and accordingly began building a city. A year of 
this occupancy did as much for the growth of the place as had the 
preceding eleven of a British rule. Indeed McLoughlin was so 
benevolent as to permit the Americans to use his squared timbers for 
their own edifices. Oregon City grew to her supremacy long before 
the first nail was driven in a Portland roof. If any one of these three 
early emporiums of the primitive times had possessed the position to 
be the principal places that they once aspired to become, they had 
abundant opportunity for realizing their hopes. 

On the Willamette and the Columbia, numberless other points 
strove to become the place. It was well enough understood that on 
this strip of water must somewhere be located the metropolis of the 
Northwest, and every new settler so fortunate as to own a piece of 
land on either side of the river hoped to make it the center of the 
capital. Opposite Oregon City, Robert Moore, from Pennsylvania, 
found indications of iron in the soil, and here laid off Linn City in 
1843, and persisted in living upon his site, although he was well 
laughed at by one of our naval officers for his extravagant hopes. 
His city later on became known by the less ambitious but more 
attractive name of Robin's Nest. Below Moore's, Hugh Burns, an 
Irishman, laid off Multnomah City and started the place by setting 
up a blacksmith shop. Some years later (1847), Lot Whitcomb, of 
Illinois, a man of rare enterprise, united with Seth Luelling and 
later with Captain Joseph Kellogg, to make Milwaukie the New York 
of the Pacific Coast, Below the present site of Portland, on the 
right bank of the Willamette, was St. Johns, founded by John Johns, 
whose brick store is still a conspicuous mark on the green slope of 
this beautiful little spot. At the head of Sauvies' Island was 
Linnton, a most ambitious point, established as early as 1844 by 
M. M. McCarver, with the assistance of Peter Burnett, both of whom 
were brainy and stalwart men, famous in early history. The former 
is said to have declared that his city would beat anything on the 
coast if they could only get nails enough there. Near the mouth of 
the Willamette Slough was Milton, founded in 1846 by Captain 
Nathaniel Crosby. On the Oregon shore opposite the lower end of 

Settlement and Early Times. 79 

Sauvies' Island where the lower mouth of the Willamette unites with 
the Columbia was set St. Helens on a natural site of great beauty. 
It was established about 1845-46 by Captain Knighton and others. 
The geographical position of all these embryo cities was equal to 
that of Portland, and the latter had but little advantage over any of 
them in priority of date of establishment, or in thrift and ability 
upon which to begin. All these points were energetic and were 
possessed of unbounded ambition to be first in empire. During those 
early years before 1850 the whole lower Willamette was in a state of 
agitation and excitement, striving to find some point, or node, of 
crystalization for the coming grandeur of population and wealth. 
This had been going on some years before Portland was thought of, 
and she seems to have been selected by nature as the outcome of the 
struggle for survival. 

In proceeding with the history of the settlement of this city it 
may be well to say that more of it has been forgotten than will ever 
be put on paper. Written data are few and meagre, and what has 
been prepared for history is in some cases ludicrously erroneous, as 
when — probably by mistake of the compositor, which the proof 
reader and editor did not take the trouble to correct — a man in the 
Rocky Mountains at the time is affirmed to have founded Portland on 
the Willamette. A considerable number of the original settlers are 
still living, and in the case of some, recollection is distinct and most 
interesting; while others find themselves at fault in trying to re- 
member incidents so long past, by them deemed trivial at the time. 

But without further explanation the threads of tradition and story 
as to the most remote times of the city may be joined so as to form 
as well as possible an historical plexus. 

Long before its selection for a city the site was not unnoticed. 
Travelers now and then stepped off from their canoes or bateaux, 
even from times so remote as that of Lewis and Clark; one of whom 
mentions spending a night at a great bend in the Willamette twelve 
miles from its mouth where he was entertained in the lodge of a very 
intelligent Indian chief, who told long stories of his own people and 
the great tribe of Calapooiah, many days toward the mid-day sun. In 
1829, one Etienne Lucier, a Frenchman who crossed the plains 


80 History of Portland. 

with Hunt in 1811 but afterwards took service with the Hudson's 
Bay Company, was settled by McLoughlin on the east side of the 
river opposite Portland, but soon went on to French Prairie. 

The very first who set foot on the original site of Portland with a 
view to assuming ownership was William Overton. It has been 
almost universally stated that he took the "claim" in 1843. In the 
first directory of Portland, published in 1863, there is found an 
historical sketch, doubtless compiled with care, which has become the 
basis of almost everything written upon the subject since, that gives 
the story of beginnings as follows: "During the month of November, 
1843, Hon. A.L,. Lovejoy (at present residing at Oregon City) and a 
gentleman, named Overton, stepped ashore at this point from an 
Indian canoe, while en route from Vancouver to Oregon City, and hav- 
ing examined the topography of the surrounding country concluded 
at once that this was the most eligible position for a town site. ' ' It 
goes on to say that during the ensuing winter they made preparations to 
erect a cabin, but before completing their arrangements for a dwell- 
ing, Overton disposed of his interest to Mr. F. W. Pettygrove, who in 
conjunction with Mr. Lovejoy had the site surveyed and the bound- 
aries established, during the summer of 1844. "During the winter 
of the same year Messrs. Lovejoy and Pettygrove hired a man to com- 
mence clearing off timber and to procure logs suitable for the con- 
struction of a dwelling house but a change was made in the location, 
the proprietors deeming it more prudent to commence operations 
nearer the center of their claim. Immediate preparations were made 
to clear off the ground adjacent to where the Columbia Hotel at present 
stands (near the foot of Washington Street) and accordingly a log 
house was erected on the spot and occupied by their employe during 
the winter. The building completed, and a portion of the land 
cleared, the proprietors determined upon having a more accurate 
survey of their claim, and, in the summer of 1845, Thos. A. Brown 
was employed to do so. ' ' 

The circumstances as to time are quite different from the account 
given by Mrs. Lovejoy, wife of the man named above. She herself 
came to Oregon in 1843 and was soon after married and lived with her 
husband at Oregon City. According to her memory it was not until 

Settlement and Early Times. 81 

the autumn of 1844 that Overton set his stakes on the claim, and the 
story of first occupation runs something as follows : 

Though the shore and plateau upon which Portland now stands 
was at first a dense forest with interminable underbrush, there was 
along the bank from about Washington street to Jefferson something 
of an opening, the underwood having been cleared away, perhaps by 
Indian campers. There were maple and oak trees on the spot. 
Being a delightfully shady place and about half way between Oregon 
City and Vancouver, it became convenient as a stopping place for 
parties on the river to land for a mid-day meal. Lovejoy going upon 
business in November of '44 from his home at Oregon City to 
Vancouver, fell in, at the latter place, with the young man Overton, 
and as it suited the convenience of both, the two arranged for making 
together the return trip to Oregon City. As they were passing up 
the Willamette and arrived at the grove, the two men went ashore,' 
and Overton was pleased to show his friend about the place, saying 
that it was his "claim," taken but a few weeks before. Lovejoy, 
with a critical eye, noticed the apparent depth of water off shore, 
and the indications at the bank that ships had made this a stopping 
place. Overton now disclosed the fact that he had no means to take 
the legal steps to secure the claim according to law, and offered 
Lovejoy a half interest in the claim for the expense of recording, 
and the latter closed the bargain. By this means our city's site fell 
into the hands of one of the most intelligent and capable men then 
in the territory. 

Of Overton very little is known. His name does not appear on 
any list of immigrants from the East, and it is surmised that he 
drifted in from the sea, or came up in '43 from California with the 
company who journeyed hither with Joseph Gale, a still older pioneer, 
and his herd of cattle. It has been remarked of him in humorous 
phrase, "This man Overton stalks through the twilight of these 
early annals like a phantom of tradition, so little is known of his 
history, character and fate." Col. Nesmith says he "was a desperate, 
rollicking fellow and sought his fortunes in Texas, where, as I have 
heard, his career was brought to a sudden termination by a halter." 
It is agreed that he came from Tennessee; and that after his short 

82 History of Portland. 

residence in Oregon he went to Texas. According to the recollection 
of Mrs. Lovejoy, he was an agreeable, well appearing young man, 
and she discredits the report of his hanging in the Lone Star State. 
From his name and native country it has been conjectured that he 
was a member of the family of Overtons in Memphis, who were 
among the founders of that city. But whatever his character or fate, 
he played only an incidental part in our history. Soon after 
completing his settlement he was seeking to sell his interest in the 
claim, on the ground that he must go to his mother who, as he now 
heard, was sick in Texas. He succeeded in disposing of this to F. 
W. Petty grove for an u outfit," worth perhaps fifty dollars. 1 

General L,ovejoy was, on the other hand, one whose name and 
history are clear and bright throughout the whole of the old Oregon; 
a dashing, dauntless sort of a man with many popular and 
commanding qualities, whose career is closely interwoven with that 
of the whole Northwest. The most successful of the business men 
of Portland have come from New England or New York, and it was 
perhaps as a sort of augury of this fact that the first real owner of 
soil here should be from the old Bay State. Iyovejoy was a native of 
Groton. He studied at Cambridge, but was an alumnus at Amherst 
college. He became a lawyer and was among the first of the legal 
profession that came to this coast. On both sides of his house he was 
of excellent family, his mother's people being the L,awrences, of fame 
on the east coast. Soon after finishing his professional studies he 
was led by that spirit of romance and adventure, which in men takes 
the form of action — in women emotion, in poets imagination — to 
push out to the west and follow the steps of such enthusiasts as Kelly 
and Wyeth, and other idealists and discoverers, who had set out from 
the little rocky hills and stern shores of the "; down east" to thrid 

1 The first owner of the Portland land-claim was William Overton, a Tennessean, 
who came to Oregon about 1843, and presently took possession of the place, 
where he made shingles for a time, but being of a restless disposition, went to the 
Sandwich Islands, and returning dissatisfied and out of health, resolved to go to 
Texas. Meeting with A. L. Lovejoy at Vancouver, and returning with him to Port- 
land in a canoe, he offered to resign the claim to him, but subsequently changed his 
mind, thinking to remain, yet giving Lovejoy half on condition that he would aid in 
improving it; for the latter, as he says in his Founding of Portland, MSS 30 — 34, 

Hi-j ! /.jEl/WV!i-'iT"^ '*£' 



Settlement and Early Times. 83 

the labyrinths of the North American continent. He reached 
Missouri and began practicing law. Here he came upon Dr. Elijah 
White, the physician and missionary who had spent several years in 
Oregon at Chemawa, near Salem, had returned east, and now was on 
the way west again, with considerable dignity and pomp as United 
States sub-Indian agent for Oregon ; and, better yet, was the leader 
of a party of above one hundred to this remote region. Joining 
himself to the company, Lovejoy became an active and daring rover 
of the plains, and together with Hastings, another scion of a good 
eastern family, became the subject of a romantic adventure by falling 
into the hands of the savages at Independence Rock. It was 
customary to cut one's name on this conspicuous pile, and he was 
carving his own in large characters when, stepping back to view his 
work, having drawn a flourish over the " Y," he was embraced by a 
very large Indian. A band of Sioux was soon on the spot, and the 
two young men separated from their train, were threatened with 
instant massacre. The savages were especially fierce in their 
demonstrations against L,ovejoy, leaving Hastings almost unnoticed. 
This was attributed by the former to the fact that the latter was of 
a very dark complexion, and was perhaps supposed to be of kith to 
the captors. Happily, the guide, Fitzpatrick, saw the affair from the 
train, which was a few miles distant, and Dr. White came to the rescue 
with some tobacco and trinkets, which were on the whole more 
valuable to the strolling Sioux than two white men, dead or alive. 

Reaching the Walla Walla Valley in October, L,ovejoy found Dr. 
Whitman, the devoted missionary and intrepid pioneer, at Wailatpu, 
anxious to go to Washington and Boston. Although having just 
performed a trip that was most fatiguing, Lovejoy had the courage to 
join himself to the doctor as a comrade and to ride back across the 

observed the masts and booms of vessels which had been left there, and it occurred 
to him that this was the place for a town. 

After some clearing preparatory to building a house, Overton again determined to 
leave Oregon, and sold his half of the claim to F. W. Pettygrove, for a small sum, 
and went to Texas, where, it has been said, he was hanged. Bancroft's History of 
Northwest Coast, Vol. 11. p. 8—9. 

Bancroft, however, states in a note further down that Overton came to Portland 
from the Sandwich Islands on the Toulon in 1846, after his reported removal to Texas. 

84 History of Portland. 

continent ; now, however, making the journey in the dead of winter. 
Long marches, snow storms, bitter winds, crossing of violent . half- 
frozen streams ; wanderings, bewilderments, frost bites and starvation 
diet — sometimes eating dog meat — and riding jaded animals, this was 
the order of the exercises from November to February. Their route 
led by Santa Fe. 

In the season of '43 he joined the emigrants and made the journey 
once more across the plains and mountains, reaching Fort Vancouvier 
in the autumn. 

Such was Amos Lawrence L,ovejoy, a frank-faced, open-hearted 
man with blue eyes, fair complexion and dark, auburn hair, who 
stepped ashore with the Tennessean, and laid claim to the site of 
Portland. The two peered about in the deep woods more or l^ss, but 
soon went on to Oregon City for their abode, while making ready to 
hew out a site among the big trees at Portland. By purchase from 
Overton, F. W. Pettygrove, who had come from the State of Maine, 
now became a partner of L,ovejoy's. The same year a cabin was 
built of logs near the foot of Washington street as it now runs. 

Francis W. Pettygrove was a representative man of the mercan- 
tile class of half a century ago. He was born in Calais, Me., in 
1812, received a common school education in his native place, and 
afterwards engaged in independent business ventures. At the age of 
thirty he accepted the offer of an eastern mercantile company to 
bring to Oregon a stock of goods. He shipped his articles and took 
passage with his wife and child on the bark Victoria, but at the 
Sandwich Islands was obliged to transfer to the bark Fama, Capt. 
Nye. Upon this vessel he came to the Columbia river and ascended 
to Fort Vancouver. To transport his goods to Oregon City, the 
point for which he was aiming, he was obliged to engage the services 
of a schooner of the Hudson's Bay Company. Once at the Falls, 
after his arduous and somewhat troublesome passage hither, he met 
with good success in the sale of his merchandise. After disposing 
of this, he engaged in the fur trade, and erecting a warehouse at Oregon 
City was enabled to control to quite an extent the wheat trade of 
French Prairie. His labors in establishing Portland were crowned 
with success and he became a valued and trusted friend of General 


Settlement and Early Times. 85 

IvOvejoy, and was universally known throughout the entire territory 
as a capable man of business and honorable in all the relations of 
life. Although fortune would have awaited him here, the opening 
of the forests and breaking of the soil so far induced malarial 
troubles that he was led to seek the sea coast for the sake of 
his health. It was in 1851 that he sold out his remaining 
interests at Portland, and embarking on a schooner sailed away 
together with several other Portland people to the straits of Fuca, 
establishing the city of Port Townsend, where he remained until 
his death in 1887. 

The work of these earliest founders may be easily imagined. 
Lovejoy spent the most of his time in the law office at the Falls 
wrestling with legal problems with the new arrivals in his profession, 
or urging on the course of politics, and therefore did not give 
largely of his time to manual labor. The story is told, however, 
that he ' 'struck the first blow, ' ' that is, we suppose that he was the 
first to lay hold of an axe and fell a fir tree — becoming thereby, the 
first to set in motion the wild music in our woods, which since that 
day has almost constantly sounded on the Portland site and still rings 
in the decimated forests on the environs. By the printed accounts it 
appears that it was a hired man who felled the trees for the cabin, 
and built the establishment. Undoubtedly, both Pettygrove and 
Lovejoy did not hesitate to take off their coats, and lift with the 
crowbar. From the long connection of the former with the ' 'shingle 
store, " it seems only natural that he did some of the shake-laying on 
the roof of this first shanty, which the records refer to so respectfully 
as a ' 'dwelling. ' ' It seems to have been originally intended to put 
the house on a spot near the ravine where the Portland steam saw- 
mill first stood, at the foot of Jefferson street, but the site near the 
foot of Washington street was afterward selected. In 1845 the land 
was surveyed and some four streets were laid off, making a plat of 
sixteen blocks. The portion east of Front street to the river was 
not platted, or rather the whole street and shore were left as one 
broad street and called ' 'Water. ' ' It was perhaps expected that this 
should always be free for the use of the public, and that the row of 
blocks between Front street and the river should not be held by 

86 History of Portland. 

private parties. For a village, without docks or warehouses, it was, 
at any rate, a liberal plan. The streets were laid sixty feet wide and 
the lots stood fifty feet front by one hundred feet deep, with eight in a 
block. These dimensions, especially as to width of streets are now 
rather straitened for our compact and busy city, but in the primitive 
days seemed ample, particularly in consideration of the immense 
timber to be felled and cleared away. 

In due time arose the necessity of naming the place. The 
christening was done in quite an informal and characteristic man- 
ner. Lovejoy and wife, Pettygrove and wife, and a Mr. Wilson 
being at dinner in their residence at Oregon City a little banter began 
to flow back and forth about the prospects of the city a dozen miles 
below. It was soon inquired by what appellation it should be known 
the world over. Lovejoy, being from Massachusetts, wished to name 
it Boston; Pettygrove, of Maine, favored Portland. It was jestingly 
agreed to decide the controversy by tossing a penny. Pettygrove 
happening to have a copper — a memento of old times u Down East" 
— gave the skillful flip which secured his pet name for the city of one 
log cabin. At the first throw he was successful, and to please his 
antagonist a trial by three throws was made, Pettygrove securing 

It was comparatively an active time on the river that season. In 
the autumn arrived a large immigration from across the mountains, 
and as they passed by in boat loads they stopped to exchange greetings, 
and to make inquiries. Some of them, as James Field, and James 
Terwilliger, stopped off to stay, and, to help build the city. In the 
fall also arrived the Toulon, under Capt. Crosby, and the crew of the 
vessel came ashore to help Terwilliger to erect his cabin. 

In 1846 another of the noted men of early times appeared as owner 
of a part of the site of our city. This was John H. Couch. He had 
been to Oregon six years before as a ship-master. He was a Yankee, 
hailing from Newburyport, Mass. , and one who had grown up in 
mercantile and nautical life, having early sailed to the West Indies. 
In 1839, he was commissioned Captain of the brig Maryland by John 
and Caleb Cushing, of Newburyport, to take a cargo of merchandise 
to the Columbia river. It was planned to sell the goods in Oregon, 

Settlement and Early Times. 87 

load up with salmon in the Columbia river and sail to the Sandwich 
Islands. There exchanging his cargo of fish for oil, he should return 
home, doubling his money at each turn. The plan was good and 
Couch made the trip out in safety. He brought his brig over the 
Columbia Bar, having no pilot nor chart, and in the summer of 1840 
landed at Oregon City. He met with no success, however, in disposing 
of his goods, being unable to compete with the Hudson's Bay 
Company. He had no better fortune in obtaining salmon and went 
empty to the Islands, where he sold his brig and secured passage 
home in a whaler. The Cushings were ready, however, to try the 
experiment again, and the bark Chenamus was built under the eye 
of Couch, modeled, it is said, after an Indian canoe and named for 
Chenamus, a Chinook chieftan. Couch on the second voyage came 
prepared to stay with his goods, to sell them out on credit and to 
establish a Yankee store. He met thereby with better success. In 
passing up and down the lower Willamette, he soon discovered the 
whereabouts of the Clackamas shoals near Oregon City and the Ross 
Island Bar just above Portland. He was obliged on one occasion to 
use batteaux to lighter up his goods to market. He looked, therefore, 
quite sharply for the place nearest the center of population fit to 
be the point of transfer of goods from the sea vessels to the river 
craft, or to land conveyance. He had been advised on his first voyage 
to drop down from Oregon City below the Ross Island Bar, in order 
to avoid being caught above the shoals when the water fell, and had, 
therefore, passed down and come to anchor off Portland. By this 
circumstance, and by further examination, he decided that Portland 
was the proper place and took up the claim adjoining that of Lovejoy 
and Pettygrove on the north. Although returning for a visit to 
Massachusetts he came again to his possession, bought back the 
portion claimed by another, and thereafter became eminent in building 
up the city. 

The early settlers of Portland — to use an expression of Judge 
Tourgee's — " squatted hard " and struggled mightily against the 
environment of fir trees. Pettygrove built a store, Terwilliger started 
a blacksmith shop. John Waymire put up a double log cabin and 
held his oxen in readiness for hauling goods from any chance ship 

88 History of Portland. 

that might come to port. Whip-saws that had been brought across 
the plains were gotten out of the Missouri wagons, scoured up and 
made smooth with bacon grease, and with long, lank stroke the 
backwoodsmen began to worry through the sappy and pitchy fir logs 
to make boards of divers widths and thickness. To those accustomed 
to the hard wood, or even the white pine of the East, our fir trees 
were rude and formidable, and many a raw hand emerged from the 
forest sore and distressed, and like Noah's ark pitched inside and out 
with pitch. Bennett and some other young men set up a shingle 
camp. D. H. Lownsdale was enticed ashore by the eligibility of the 
site, took up a claim west of Petty grove's and started a tannery. 
William Johnson, whose Indian wife is always mentioned in connection 
with his name, built a cabin on what is now known as the Caruthers 
place, smuggling his domicile in an opening in the timber where a 
stream made the spot inimical to the fir trees. Daniel Laint, off the 
Chenamus, took up the land next south. James Stephens occupied 
the claim just across the river. The town got occasional accretions 
and made little growths, and life rolled on in its toils and perversities, 
as well as enjoyments and triumphs, toward the year 1849. Public 
events were few, and the stream of life and incident is so slender that 
it will be quite impossible to follow it in its details. With the coming 
of the year of gold there was a great change, and this account of 
the primitive times from 1845 to 1849 may now be filled out by a 
resume of the people, the houses and the ships that one would see or 
meet with in antique Portland. This work being quite largely for 
reference must be pardoned for adopting a somewhat cyclopediac 
form, and its pages will be regarded rather as a record of people and 
works than as a moving panorama of events. 

As well worthy to head the list of early residents, after the 
founders, may be mentioned Mr. D. H. Lownsdale, who arrived in 
Oregon in 1845, and not long afterwards occupied the section west 
of the town site, establishing a tannery near the present place of the 
industrial exposition building. He sold this in 1848 to Messrs. 
Ebson and Balance. Following these in possession came Mr. A. M. 
King, who still owns the place, and is now one of Portland's 
millionaires. He crossed the plains in 1845, from Missouri, and first 

Settlement and Early Times. 89 

, e — — . — . = . — _ 

lived in Benton county, but soon after came down to Portland. Well 
known in early times as one of her best citizens was Mr. James Field. 
A Connecticut boy, he started west at the age of twenty-two for 
Santa Fe, but upon reaching Missouri found himself debarred from 
further progress by the Mexican war, and at Independence joined 
Capt. J. R. Riggs's company for Oregon, working his way by driving 
oxen. He lived in Portland until '48, when he returned east, but 
came back in 1850, setting up the Franklin market, the first of 
importance in the city. Although having now for a number of years 
made his home in New York, he still makes occasional visits to our 
city. His reminisences of early times in our midst are most clear 
and interesting. He was — and is still — a man of fine physical 
development, being tall and powerful, and as well provided with 
nerve as muscle. A most genial and kindly man, his presence at so < 
early a day was a streak of sunshine. 

Among the earliest also was James Terwilliger, who now — in the 
white winter of his age — is living contentedly on his original claim 
at the south side of the city. Physically he also was a very powerful 
man, tall and broad shouldered, and a blacksmith by trade. He was 
born in New York State in 1809. By the bent of his mind he was 
early borne westward, scouring the plains of Illinois during the era 
of buffaloes and wild turkeys. In 1845 he made the final plunge 
into the wilderness, coming out at last somewhat worn, but never- 
theless little worse for the wear, on the sunset side of the Cascade 
mountains. He found the most likely spot for residence by the 
banks of the Willamette where L,ovejoy held his claim. In the 
shades of the beautiful grove he secured a lot and put up his cabin 
— according to his own recollection the first in Portland. In this 
labor, he was assisted by some of the crew of the Toulon, of whom 
were George Geer — an adventurer whose escapades at the mouth of 
the Columbia in connection with "Blue Ruin," would form an 
interesting chapter by itself, — and Fred Ramsey, who laid claim to 
the tract north of the city, since known as the Blackistone place. 
Terwilliger also supplied himself with a blacksmith shop, doing the 
welding and hammering of the hamlet for as much as five years, 
until removing to his farm in 1850. 

90 History of Portland. 


In March, 1846, came Mr. Job McNemee, of Ohio, who had also 
crossed the continent the year previous. He brought with him a 
family of wife and four children, three sons and a daughter, the latter 
of whom all Portlanders now know as Mrs. E. J. Northrup, one of our 
most worthy and representative women. Upon the arrival of families 
began those more refined ways and sprung up those interests which 
take the edge off of the semi-barbarism of a simple shipping station 
or stopping point. 

John Waymire, a Missourian, an immigrant of 1845, came to 
Iyovejoy's claim in 1846. He found occupation here in boating 
goods to Oregon City from the ships that anchored at Portland. In 
this employment he made use of the oxen which he had brought 
across the plains; and, in fact, monopolized the express business. He 
also kept open house at his cabin for travelers, although in those 
early times those who passed to and fro, either by canoe or by cayuse 
pony, carried their blankets with them, and were always welcome to 
eat and sleep at any hut to which they came, particularly if they 
happened upon that of one whom they had known on the plains. 
In addition to these labors, Mr. Waymire set up a saw-mill on Front 
street, the sole machinery being a whip-saw, operated by one man 
who stood on the log above and did the up stroke, and by another 
who stood below and did the down stroke and got the dust. This 
active pioneer, who has for many years been a prominent resident cf 
Polk county, accomplished very much for the early commerce of 

There was, moreover, a camp of shingle makers who preyed upon 
the beautiful cedar trees that grew among the fir and hemlocks, — 
bachelor boys; among whom are tp be reckoned Wm. H. Bennett, a 
nephew of G. W. Ebbert, the octogenarian of Washington county, 
who came out to the Rocky mountains with Joseph Iv. Meek in 1829 ; 
and Richard E. Wiley. Both were intelligent, active men. 

Dr. Ralph Wilcox of New York, a pioneer of 1845, was the first 
physician, and also the first school teacher. In a little frame building 
on Front and Taylor Streets put up by Mr. McNemee tie kept a 
school of about a dozen scholars. Dr. Wilcox was for many years 
prominent before the public as a citizen of Portland, and afterwards 

Settlement and Early Times. 91 

as clerk of the State legislature at Salem, and clerk of the United 
States court at Portland. 

Of others that fill out the dreamy picture of that distant past 
before '49, may be mentioned a family by the name of Warren, 
embracing in its circle two beautiful daughters; the two brothers 
O' Bryants, Humphrey and Hugh, the latter becoming subsequently 

the first mayor; Anthony Whittaker; Ennyard; Ross; 

Cooper; J. Iy. Morrison, a jolly Scotchman, who had a little 

lumber and flour depot at the foot of the street now bearing his 
name, and who had an intimate friend and parhaps partner in Jehu 
Scrudder; both excellent men. There was a young man, G. W. Bell, 
clerk for Pettygrove, who also at one time kept the first bakery, 
located on the north side of Morrison Street, while the blacksmith 
shop was on the south side nearer the river. 

In 1847, Iv. B. Hastings arrived with his family from Illinois — a 
man of much business capacity and energy. There was also a mar- 
ried man, Mr. Tallantyre, who arrived, it is thought, the year before. 
These remained until '51 when they sailed away in a schooner of 
their own together with Mr. Pettygrove, to found Port Townsend, 
in Washington. 

Col. Wm. King was but little later upon the scene. The follow- 
ing characterization of this unusual man is found in an address before 
the Oregon Pioneer Association by Judge R. P. Boise who became 
familiarly acquainted with him at the Oregon Legislature in 1851. He 
says: u Col. King was even then advanced to the prime of life. He was 
a veteran politician, who had done service as a legislator and lobbyist 
before he came to Oregon, and knew well the various evolutions of 
legislative tactics. He was a ready debater and could use with equal 
earnestness sound argument or sophistry, and could marshal the 
selfish desires, interests and prejudices of men with consummate skill, 
and like most men who aim at carrying a point he was not over- 
scrupulous as to the means by which it was attained. He was a 
firm, and faithful friend, and a bitter enemy. He had faults which 
caused him much trouble and suffering — but who has not faults? 
He was ever generous and kind, and possessed a keen and penetrating- 
mind, and much intelligence, which would make him a marked man 

92 History of Portland. 

in any community." After Col. King came to Portland, if there 
was anything going on he was sure to have a hand in it, and perhaps 
to be very near the bottom of it. 

Captain Nathaniel Crosby was from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 
early life he went to sea, rose at length to the position of master and 
finally owner of a vessel. He was, next after Couch, the first to 
engage iii a regular trade at Portland, and accomplished as much as 
any one for the establishment of our commerce. After leaving 
Portland, and not succeeding to his mind in building up a city at 
the lower mouth of the Willamette, he removed to Puget Sound and 
engaged in milling at Tumwater, near Olympia. He was one of the 
pioneers and most prominent citizens of Washington Territory. 

Benjamin Stark, a name so well known in Portland and 
perpetuated in Stark street, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, 
January 26, 1822. He was graduated from Union School, New 
London, Connecticut, in 1835. Here he entered upon a business 
career, beginning in a counting house in New York City, and became 
a merchant. In 1845 he came to Oregon as supercargo on the bark 
Toulon and engaged in trade. - He afterwards studied law and was 
admitted to practice in 1850. He now rapidly rose in public preferment 
and was elected a member of the Territorial House of the Legislature, 
and in 1861 was appointed U. S. Senator by Governor Whiteaker to 
fill out the unexpired term of Col. E. D. Baker. He served to December 
1, 1862. He was prominent in politics as a Democrat, acting as 
delegate, from Oregon to the National Convention of the Democratic 
party at Chicago in 1864, and in 1868 from Connecticut to the 
Convention in New York. He has for many years been a resident of 
New London, Connecticut. 

From the above enumeration it will be seen that even in the 
primitive days Portland had a considerable community of intelligent 
and wideawake people. Being frontiersmen, or at any rate having 
acquired the frontier habits and manners in coming hither, they were 
exceptionally sociable and hospitable. They kept the evenings 
lively around their hearthstones, and had candy pulls and parties and 
took pleasure rides in their canoes on the river. The coming of a 
ship, the erection of a new house, or the felling of the immense 

Settlement and Early Times. 93 

trees, formed items of news and topics of conversation fully as 
valuable and interesting as the staple of to-day. School was kept 
up, and religious meetings were by no means neglected. In this 
latter regard the Methodists were the advanced guard ; Rev. J. S. 
Smith or Father Kelly coming down from their homes at stated 
times to hold worship in the cooper shop, which was the most 
commodious building for the purpose. 

How it looked at Portland then was about how it looks now at 
any one of the score of river villages in the woods to be seen on the 
lower Columbia. The forest was a little notched. Grand trees lay 
almost three hundred feet long on the ground, and so big and burly 
that the settler felt grimly after his day's labor in chopping one down, 
that he had only made matters worse by getting it in the way. He 
examined his sore muscles and blistered hands and wondered where 
the strength was to come from to remove the monster ; while his cow 
lifted up her nose at the shaggy bark and impending boughs, finding 
the path that she had made through the underbrush at many days' 
toil once more hopelessly closed. So much for background. On the 
river bank was a small wharf ; at the foot of Salmon street a fishery. 
On Front street at the foot of Washington stood Petty grove's new 
store, an ambitious building, made of hewn logs and covered with 
shingles, giving by its peculiar style and ensemble something of a 
shock to the architectural feelings of the new comer. On the same 
block stood Pettygrove's house, also a pretentious structure. The 
cooper shop stood on the site of the Skidmore drug store, and on Second 
street was a building which the old timers still speak of with more 
respect than they now accord to the Hotel Portland. This was Capt. 
Crosby's story and half residence with dormer windows; which is the 
sole dwelling of our antique grandeur, and now stands on Fourth 
street. There was one cabin put up by O' Bryant which was covered 
with a rustic of split cedar boards, but of the ten or fifteen others 
— not named above — the most were constructed of round logs. 

A description by Mr. James Field of the houses in the village in 
February, 1847, is quite explicit, and although to a certain extent a 
repetition of the foregoing, may be inserted here. Approaching the 
town from the lower river one noticed about the foot of B street on 

94 History of Portland. 

the shore, a log hut; sometimes used by Capt Couch as a place of 
storage for goods, and possibly for occupation for himself when off 
ship. Coming further up, past a stumpy shore, you saw on the 
northwest corner of Front and Washington streets Petty grove's store 
and house. Near by was Whittaker's small one-story frame building. 
On Alder and Front was situated Job McNemee's two-story residence, 
and on the same block was a house occupied by Thos. Tallantyre, 
who had on the river bank in front an establishment for cutting 
lumber with a whip-saw. On the corner of Taylor and Front streets 
appeared the double log cabin of John Waymire, in many respects the 
most important structure in the city. Next south, in the middle of 
the block, was the house of Dr. Ralph Wilcox. On the north side 
of Taylor, between Front and First, stood a little cabin 7x9, 
which for many years led a sort of uncertain and wandering life, 
such as. its exceeding smallness made quite possible. On Main street 
between First and Second was the blacksmith shop of James Terwilli- 
ger and his house stood near. On the south side of Taylor was the 
cabin of Mr. Doane. There were also one or two houses, or cabins, 
on the back streets in the gloaming of the fir trees. This baker's 
dozen of separate roofs comprised all Portland forty-three years ago. 

The streets were, of course, little more than ox paths, and skid- 
ways among the stumps; gouged out, tramped, bemired in the rainy 
winter weather; and in the dry times raw and dusty. The city was in 
those days only large enough to grow, but the swift years were on 
the way to bring it to metropolitan honor§. So much for the people 
and houses; now for the ships. 

The river front was, comparatively speaking, lively with crafts 
during these four or five years. In 1844 Capt. Couch brought the 
Chenamus up to the mouth of the Willamette, and boated his goods 
thence to Oregon City. In 1845 Capt. Nathaniel Crosby brought 
the bark Toulon into the river, unloading her at Portland; and from 
that time made regular trips. He put up and kept a small storehouse 
at the city front, but for the most part his goods were boated up to 
Oregon City. In the summer of 1847, there were three large crafts 
in the river at Portland; the Toulon, the Whitton, and the Brig 
Henry. The Whitton was from New York, a swift, trim bark, under 

Settlement and Early Times. 95 

command of Roland Ghelston. When about to sail away from 
Portland he took on some cargo of butter, cheese and other produce, 
and to load these commodities upon the vessel slipped her in close to 
the steep bank, to which he laid poles from the deck, and planking 
these over had a platform, or temporary wharf. Those seeing how 
convenient was the lading of a ship from the Portland shore, predicted 
that this would be the place of shipping. Ghelston made a second 
voyage to the Pacific Coast, arriving in San Francisco in 1849 in 
time to sell his cargo of pans and shovels at an enormous profit. 
The Henry was under command of Capt. Kilbourne of Massachusetts. 
He took his brig up to a point on the east side of the river, probably 
somewhere near U street, and threatened to build a town there as 
a rival to Portland. Thus early had a spirit of opposition begun to 
show itself, and so easy was it to go out like Cain and build a city. 

Other craft are mentioned as entering the river, as the American 
bark Parsons , in c 46; and the brig Eveline, under command of 
Capt. Goodwin of Newburyport, Massachusetts, which ascended to the 
landing on J. R. Stephens' place, on the east side. This vessel and 
her clever captain were of unusual interest to the Portlanders from 
the fact that Mrs. Goodwin was also on board. A year or two later, 
it is mentioned that U A beautiful little vessel that had come up 
from San Francisco for a load of lumber to be used in constructing 
government barracks there" l lay in the river. This beautiful vessel, 
whose name is forgotten, may be a symbol of other forgotten splendors 
and beauties that perhaps clustered about the embryo city, in the 
mellow, slow days before the gold. 

Of those who came in by sea on some of these crafts and became 
builders of the city, Couch stands first; Crosby next. Following, are 
Benj. Stark, supercargo on the Toulon ; Richard Hoyt, mate on the 
Whitton ; and Daniel L,unt, one of the mates on the Chenamus. 
Among the marked characters of this early time William Johnson 
already alluded to was perhaps behind none. Col. Nesmith thus 
speaks of him : " He was, in 1843, the only settler on the river 
below the Falls; an English sailor. He was a fine specimen of the 
British tar and had at an early day abandoned his allegiance to the 

1 Probably the U. S. transport Anita, under command of Midshipman Woodworth. 

96 History of Portland. 

British Lion, and taken service on the old frigate Constitution, I 
have frequently listened to his narrative of the action between the 
old Ironsides and the Guerriere ) on which occasion he served with the 
boarding party. He used to exhibit an ugly scar on his head made 
in that memorable action, by a British cutlass, and attributed fiis 
escape from death to the fact that he had a couple of pieces of hoop 
iron crossed in his cap, which arrested the cutlass and saved his life. " 
Besides such live specimens of Maryatt's and Cooper's heroes to afford 
nights of entertainment, there were occasional excitements and 
stirring scenes. It appears that the place was some times infested by 
Indians, who somehow got hold of "blue ruin," a vile sort of 
intoxicating liquor, and made night hideous with their carousals. 
As, upon one occasion, their orgies were becoming unbearable, and 
Joseph Iv. Meek, the Marshal of the Territory, happened to be coming 
in at the time from the country, riding upon a magnificent white 
horse that would respond to the slightest touch of the rein, the propri- 
etors of the place appealed to him to rid the town of the savages. 
Providing himself with a long stout rawhide rope, he mounted his 
horse and charged upon the camp of the Red Men, laying his strap 
over their shoulders to right and left, and soon dispersed the tribe 
into the woods, all terror-stricken at his condign punishment of 

Here, moreover, maybe quoted Judge Boise's description of the 
place as he found it some years later : "Then, as now, a place of 
supply, and containing an abundance of sugar and coffee and some 
whisky, which latter was often purchased by the hardy pioneer in 
moderate quantities just to keep out the wet in returning home on 
his long, slow journey, while he slept by his wagon, often covered 
by a cloudy sky and exposed to the Oregon mist. ' ' Stories are told 
also of Madame Cooper and her supply of gin on board a craft off 

From the foregoing, the reader may infer that the primitive days 
were very rude and the early population very intemperate. These 
incidents, however, are given only as illustrating a certain phase of 
life to be seen at the time. Situated between the very strict and 
upright community at Oregon City, and the very decorous and 

Settlement and Early Times. 97 

perfunctory English society at Vancouver, the renegadoes of the two,, 

who did not carry their dignity or national preference to a high pitch, 

used to slip off and together grow hilarious somewhere between the 

lines. But the men who made Portland maintained a high character 

even though sometimes under a plain garb of frontiersmen's buckskin 



As a resume of the foregoing, and for the sake of gaining a clear 
idea of early movements, the order of acquisition of property is given 
herewith. Overton laid the first claim, divided with Lovejoy, and 
sold his interests to Pettygrove. A few streets and blocks were laid 
off, and the beginnings were made on lots sold at nominal prices or 
given away for the sake of improvements to be made on them. 
Couch laid the first claim to the section north, and Ramsay north of 
him. William Johnson lived on the claim south of the town 
(Caruthers) and Daniel Lunt south of him, but sold to Terwilliger. 
South of this was Thos. Stephens. On the southwest, — the heights 
— the land lay vacant until claimed in 1850 by Thos. Carter, who 
came to Portland some years before, and with his family was one of 
the most useful members of the young society. On the east side of 
the river James B. Stephens and Jacob Wheeler laid claims, covering 
the water front. These original places were, therefore, in 1849, in 
about their present shape. But the section upon which the city was 
started, the Lovejoy claim, was to pass into other hands before the 
city made a decided growth. 

There were three that were usually termed the Portland proprietors, 
and who so far broadened and deepened the movements of things as 
to be called with some propriety the founders of the place — not, 
however, to the exclusion of any honors due to the first trio. Of 
these proprietors, the first on the scene was D. H. Lownsdale, whose 
name is most honorably perpetuated among us in the person of his 
son, J. P. O. Lownsdale. He was one of the representative men of 
the nation of half a century ago; intelligent, restless, and strongly 
patriotic, making the needs of his country an active motive in 
determining his choices. He was sprung from one of the old 
families of Kentucky, and at an early age moved with his wife to 

98 History of Portland. 

Indiana. On this remote frontier he was much distressed by the loss 
of his companion by death, and returned home, but soon went to 
Georgia, engaging in the mercantile business. In a few years, owing 
to failure of health, he traveled abroad, making a prolonged tour of 
Europe, and spent thus the time from 1842 to 1844. Returning to 
the United States he found the American public much excited upon 
the Oregon question, and with no hesitation decided to come to the 
Pacific shore, and help hold it against the aggressions of the British. 
Reaching the Columbia in 1845, he looked about for a location, and 
found none superior to that of Portland. He laid his claim as near 
the river as he was able, taking the place now owned by A. N. King. 
This was then a dense woods, much of the timber being hemlock. 
The presence of these trees and the abundance of hides in the 
territory, led Mr. Lownsdale to establish, as a means of livelihood, 
a tannery, upon the small creek which flowed along the eastern side 
of his claim, and which, from the fact of the business thus established 
has become known as Tanner's Creek. This was the first leather 
making establishment of any importance on the coast and well nigh 
made Portland. Lownsdale was fully impressed with the value of 
Portland as a prospectively great city, and sought to gain a holding 
on the river front. In 1848 he found the opportunity. Lovejoy had 
sold his interest to Stark, and now Pettygrove was becoming so much 
shaken by ague as to desire to retreat to the coast. Lownsdale 
accordingly bought of the latter his whole interest, paying therefor 
$5000 in leather — specie not then being current in Oregon. 

Being now owner of the whole site — afterwards coming to an 
agreement with Stark by which the latter had the triangular strip 
now included between Stark and A streets, and the river — Lownsdale 
set in operation as many plans as he could devise for the increase of 
the place. He sold lots at small prices, or even gave them away, for 
the sake of improvements. He saw quite early the need of a partner 
in this work and found the right man in Stephen Coffin, then of 
Oregon City, to whom he sold a half interest. 

Coffin, who became during the troubled times of 1861-62 
Brigadier-General of the Oregon Militia by appointment of Governor 
Gibbs, was one of those mefi of noble presence, fine bearing and 

Settlement and Early Times. 99 

generous feelings, for which the early days of our State were 
distinguished. He is described as possessing a most benevolent face 
and in his later years a crown of abundant white hair upon his head. 
He also was a u Down Easter,' > having been born at Bangor, Maine, 
in 1807. While still young he went to Ohio, and as early as 1847 
arrived in Oregon. The first two years of his life in our State were 
spent in hard work at Oregon City so successfully as to enable him to 
take advantage of Lownsdale's offer. 

In the autumn of the same year the third partner, William W. 
Chapman, was admitted to the partnership, making a very strong 
triumvirate. Chapman was a Virginian by birth. Early deprived 
by death of his father, he was left to make his own way in the world, 
with what assistance might be rendered him by a kind brother and 
affectionate mother. He succeeded in gaining a substantial education 
and a recognized position as a lawyer before the Virginia Bar. While 
still young he went with his family to Iowa, and soon took the lead 
among the lawyers of that region — in a day so early that the Hawkeye 
State was still a part of Michigan. He was soon appointed U. S. 
District Attorney, and in this office made so good a record that when 
Iowa was set off as a separate Territory he was chosen delegate. At 
Washington he made his mark as the defender of Iowa's claim to the 
strip of territory on the south border which was also desired and at 
length contested for by Missouri ; and against heavy odds he was 
entirely successful. In the convention to form a constitution for Iowa 
upon its admission as a State, he was very influential and became the 
father of the measure to transfer the gift of public lands from 
public improvements (roads) to the use of public schools, and 
to provide for judges by popular election. Both these were 
new and untried measures, but have now been incorporated into 
the organic law of the Western and of even some of the Atlantic 
States. He was also, either in Congress or out of it, the origin- 
ator of other important legislation, such as the pre-emption law 
for settlers. 

He had come to Oregon in 1847, settling first at Corvallis and 
later at Salem. He was also much at Oregon City, and was making a 
study of the points most likely to rise to commercial importance. He 

100 History of Portland. 

was ultimately convinced that as at Portland transportation by water 
could most conveniently reach that by land, this must be the place 
for a city 

Of the company thus formed, Coffin was the President, and 
Chapman, Secretary, and the land was held as an undivided interest. 
Schemes for the growth of the place began to be elaborated, and all 
three of the men worked with untiring energy. The section was 
surveyed and platted, The new streets running north and south 
were made eighty feet wide. The river was examined, and at Swan 
Island a large log that was a menace to navigation in the narrow 
channel was removed. 

It must not be supposed that simple natural advantages can ever 
make a city. It is pre-supposed that as much energy and intelligence 
are put forth in its interests as in that of some rival point. It is only 
by making the human factor equal to that in other places that the 
factor of better natural facilities is ever made preponderating. In the 
early days of Portland, the proprietors had to work like heroes day 
and night to hold their city up to its advantages. It had a number 
of exceedingly strong and pugnacious rivals. Oregon City was 
rather easily letting go the race for commercial supremacy, holding 
on confidently to its position as the political capital, but Milwaukie 
was coming into the race with great vigor. The proprietor, Lot 
Whitcomb, was a man of as much ambition as ever lived in Oregon, 
and had staked his last dollar and his whole hope of fortune upon 
the supremacy of the city that he had laid off on his claim. It was 
for him a serious matter to miss having the greatest city of the Pacific 
Coast upon his farm. In 184-7 he began his operations, and in '48 
was greatly strengthened by the arrival at the place of Captain Joseph 
Kellogg, who at once entered into his purpose to build the city. A 
sawmill was erected, and soon ships loaded with lumber and produce 
were dispatched from her wharf down the Coast to San Francisco. 
The avails of some of these trips were so great that a vessel, the 
old bark Lausanne, was purchased out of the profits. The transaction 
was made at San Francisco, and the bark happened to have at that 
time a pair of engines and all necessary machinery for a steamer, 
which were included in the bargain. Coming into possession of this 

Settlement and Early Times. 101 

steam engine, Whitcomb determined to build a river racer to make 
sure the advantages of bis city. By Christmas day, 1850, his task 
was done, and the steamer Lot Whitcomb, amid the tumultuous 
rejoicing of the people, slid down the ways into the Willamette. She 
was a first-class, commodious boat, staunch and moderately swift, 
and at once began making a trip to Astoria, charging $15 fare, and 
passing by Portland, as she steamed to and fro, without so much as 
giving a salute. 

St. Helens was also a formidable rival. The Pacific Mail Steam- 
ship Company, who first made Astoria their stopping point, soon 
bought at St. Helens a large land interest and made this the terminus 
of their line. By the terms of existing navigation in the winter of 
'50-' 51, Milwaukie was the head of river and St. Helens the head 
of ocean steam navigation; and Portland was left forlornly in the 
midst unprovided for. But before seeing how the proprietors 
extricated themselves from this difficulty it would be more accordant 
with chronology, and indeed the order of growth, to see what class 
of citizens and what improvements were being added to the city. 

During the summer of 1849 the rush to the gold mines became 
so general that the city was well nigh depopulated, but three men 
remaining within its limits. These were Lownsdale, Warren and 
Col. King. This out-going tide was necessarily calculated to leave 
Portland high and dry on her alluvium. But there is never an ebb 
that is not followed by a flow, and the autumn of that year, and the 
winter following, saw the Portlanders flocking back again. Losses 
were more than made up, and the "dust" from California set in 
motion the wheels of enterprise in a wonderful way. We are told 
that ' 'the year passed out and 1850 was enthroned with brighter 
promise. The prices of wheat, flour, lumber, fruit and vegetables, 
went up to fabulous figures in San Francisco, and Oregon began to 
reap a splendid harvest from her fertile soil. By and by, too, the 
miners began to return. They were not much to look at — tanned, 
tattered, inhabited, maybe, but under their frowsy gaberdines was a 
complete mail of money belts, and they were just as good as gold. 
Business revived and enterprise got upon its legs. 

102 History of Portland. 

Besides Chapman and Coffin, there was a considerable number of 
new men who added force and brain to the little community. Deacon 
Homan M. Humphrey, who gave name to Humphrey's Mountain 
by taking there his claim, settled in 1849. A descendant of an old 
Eastern family, he had for some years before coming to Oregon been 
a pioneer of Iowa, and incorporated in his character the inflexible 
virtues of his ancestry and the added facility and adaptability of 
mind gained from Western life. Thomas Carter located his claim a 
little later, and one Jones, farther up the canyon, made his beginning 
on the land now occupied by the Poor Farm. 

Religious societies began to be formed. Rev. George H. Atkinson, 
whose name will always be known in Oregon as one of the most able 
and self-denying of her missionaries and pioneers of civilization, had 
come to Oregon the year before and located at Oregon City. While 
attending to his own field, he was also seeking to establish churches 
at other points, and for the work at Portland was urging his society 
to provide a pastor. Designated for this field was Rev. Horace 
Lyman, together with his wife, who sailed from New York in 
November, 1848, on the bark Whitton, making the passage around 
Cape Horn in six months to San Francisco. From that city they 
voyaged up to the Columbia Bar on the Toulon, which was a month 
or more on the water, often rocking on the idle swells and lying too, 
in the murk of a very smoky autumn, waiting for a west wind, and 
at length running upon a sand flat once inside the breakers. Up 
the rivers to Portland they were accommodated on the prim 
little Sarah McFarland, while the brig worked up on the tides 
so slowly that the passengers had ample time to go ashore and 
hunt bear, or go fowling for geese and ducks. Mr. Lyman was 
from Massachusetts, born in 1815 at East Hampton; an alumnus 
of William's College, and of Andover Theological Seminary. 
Arrived in Portland, he found accommodations for himself and 
wife in a building erected to serve as a stable. The first winter 
was spent by him in teaching school and in preaching, and making 
ready for a church organization and a church building. He was 
exceedingly active in religious, educational, benevolent and tem- 
perance enterprises, and soon became known over the whole State as 

Settlement and Early Times. 103 

among the foremost in these endeavors. He cleared with his own 
hands the ground occupied by the First Congregational Church at 
Second and Jefferson streets. 

Even more widely known was the first Methodist minister, Father 
Wilbur, who arrived upon the scene at about the same time. He 
was a New Yorker, having been born at Lowville in that State in 
1811. This was out in the wilderness in those distant days, and as 
he grew up the boy had the struggle to make with labor and self- 
denial. By his Presbyterian parents he was rigorously brought up; 
taught that the chief end of man was not in the trifling pleasures of 
the world. With this creed he was not, during his younger days, in full 
accord, but bent himself to the acquisition of fortune and the accom- 
plishment of secular ends. At the age of twenty-nine, however, but 
a month after his marriage, he gave up wholly his worldly aims and 
offered himself to preach the Gospel. His services were accepted by 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he was licensed to exhort. 
Having obtained a fair academic education, he was able to perform 
satisfactory work, and labored with much zeal and fidelity in the 
Black River Conference. In 1846 he was sought as a missionary to 
Oregon. He came by way of Cape Horn, and was accustomed to 
perform labors on the vessel for the sake of relieving the tedium of 
physical inaction. Arriving in Oregon, June 27, 1847, he passed by 
Portland, in its woods, to Salem, and at that place and Oregon City 
remained two years. After this he was appointed to the Portland 
circuit. Being a man of great physical force and power, he not only 
did the work of pastor, but also performed much manual labor. His 
toils at that early day are well described by Rev. H. K. Hines in 
the following language: "Stalwart and strong, the great forest that 
stood where the church (Taylor Street) now stands, fell before his 
axe. Versatile and resolute, the walls of the old church and academy 
rose by his saw and hammer, or grew white and beautiful under the 
sweep of his brush. Tireless and evangelical, Sunday listened with 
gladness to his earnest preaching of the Gospel. Poverty was fed 
at his table. Weariness rested on his couch. Sickness was cured 
by his medicine/ ' 

104 History of Portland. • ■ ' 

An ambitious man, full of plans and endeavors for the promotion 
of religious and humane enterprises, Father Wilbur was a central 
figure in the community in which he adted. He was one of the 
radical men of the early days. 

Another man noted for his urbanity, generosity, and ability was 
Hiram Smith. He came to Oregon first in 1845, as a sort of scout 
of civilization, to spy out the new promised land for the restless 
millions behind. He was sometimes known as "Red Shirt Smith," 
to distinguish him from the other Smiths, who bore such pseudonyms 
as "Chickamin," u Carving Knife, » "Three Fingered, " or "Blubber 
Mouth.' ' Such soubriquets as these were by no means a sign of 
contempt, but rather a mark of familiarity and good fellowship, and 
illustrates how the early pioneers enlivened their difficult circum- 
stances by broad humor. In 1849 he dispatched goods by way of 
Cape Horn, in the care of his brother Isaac, and a store was 
established at Portland in 1850. Himself with a large company 
came across the plains in 1851. Captain Smith, as he was frequently 
called, was a man of much business experience, having been a 
manufacturer of fanning mills in Ohio, and was wealthy, having 
acquired a fortune of one hundred thousand dollars. He used much 
of his money in coming to Oregon, and in assisting immigrants- 
During one season he went out toward the Snake River with a supply 
of provisions to meet the incoming train of immigrants, but found 
so many of them destitute of means, and being unable to refuse any 
of them, whether rich or poor, the necessaries they so greatly needed, 
he finally gave away the most of his flour and beef, without money 
or price. Some of those benefitted finally paid him ; as a man who 
came into town a few years later bringing to his store an enormous 
dressed hog as principal and interest, and also unburdened himself of 
a long meditated apology for having cursed him because he had not 
been allowed more. But many never did. To the poor and 
unfortunate in the city Hiram Smith was a sort of angel of 
deliverance, and made a special point of putting broken or dispirited 
men on their feet once more. Since his death unknown benevolences 
have come to light, and his gifts during the Oregon Indian wars, for 
the relief of settlers and wounded soldiers, and his fund placed at 

Settlement and Early Times. 105 

service in his old home in Ohio for the widows of soldiers of the 
War of the Rebellion, reflect a world of credit not only upon his 
own name, bnt no less upon Portland. 

Dr. D. S. Baker, who became the millionaire of Walla Walla, 
was one of the men of this day in our city. 

In 1850 William S. Ladd stepped ashore at the little primitive 
wharf. He is a Vermonter by birth, although his early life was 
spent in New Hampshire. He developed his energies upon a farm, 
bringing into productiveness one of the most stumpy and rocky 
pieces of land in the Granite State. Engaging early in the work of 
school teaching, he amplified his academic acquisitions, and as 
employe at the railroad station in his place of residence gained 
business habits and breadth of outlook. He became somewhat 
familiar with the products and resources of the Pacific Coast, and 
upon the news of the discovery of gold in California, reasoned that 
not the region of the mines, but that from which provisions 
came to the mines would ultimately get most wealth. Finding that 
the Willamette valley sustained this relation to California, he 
determined to come to our territory. He stopped at San Francisco 
on the way and conferred there with an old friend of his, C. E.. 
Tilton, but not being able to persuade him to go into the business of 
selling at retail the goods he was receiving from New York, came on 
up to Portland, bringing a few articles of merchandise with him, and 
started a small store on the ground opposite the present site of the 
Esmond Hotel. Mr. H. W. Corbett also belongs to this era. Of 
this gentleman, as of the others foregoing, a full account is given in 
another portion of this volume. H. McDonald, an architect and 
builder of skill, from Rhode Island, who did some government work 
and put up an opera house at San Francisco, and A. R. Shipley, 
now of Oswego, were also u Forty-niners." W. P. Abrams, a mill- 
wright, a man of great intelligence and public spirit, arrived with 
his family the succeeding year. A native of Grafton, New 
Hampshire, he always carried his New England thrift and 
conscientiousness, together with great kindliness and generosity, into 
his daily life. For a few years before coming to Oregon he had lived 
in Alabama. While in San Francisco he was sought out and secured 

106 History of Portland. 

by Stephen Coffin to come to Portland and build the first steam saw 
mill. Upon arriving in our city he successfully accomplished this 
task, and for many years thereafter was engaged in the manufacture 
of lumber at Portland or The Dalles. In January of 1850 Mr. Cyrus 
A. Reed, Oregon's landscape painter, arrived in the city, having 
made the voyage from San Francisco on the Brig Sequin^ under 
command of Captain Norton. He, also, was a New Englander, a 
native of Grafton, New Hampshire, and had received there a 
substantial education. In 1849 he set sail for California, and 
engaging in his trade, as painter of signs, was very successful 
financially. With Mr. Abrams, however, he came to Portland, and 
has been a devoted lover of Oregon from the day of his arrival. 

Much interesting and characteristic incident is related as to the 
building of the old steam sawmill. It was begun in December, 
1849, and finished in the summer of 1850. The main portion being 
forty by eighty feet, and the timbers solid fir beams sixteen inches 
square, it was found impossible to obtain men enough in the city to 
' ' raise ' ' it. Coffin set off for Oregon City with a flat boat for help, 
but even thus could not secure a sufficient force. The very painful 
and somewhat ridiculous predicament appeared of having a mill too 
big to be put together by all the available men in Oregon. At this 
juncture Mr. Reed, who had been employed from the first in all sorts 
of work about the building, offered to build a derrick, agreeing to 
forfeit one hundred dollars of his wages if he failed. By means of 
derrick, blocks and tackle, he enabled the men present to lift every 
timber to its place, and the work went on swimmingly. In 1852, 
after teaching a term of school, he became a partner in the mill, 
which was operated under the firm name of Abrams, Reed & Co. 
Among the workmen on this structure was J. W. Trutch, afterwards 
Surveyor-General of British Columbia. In 1852, John Gates, 
Portland's great inventor, came up from San Francisco and joined 
the company, acting as engineer. General Coffin was still a silent 
partner, dealing much in lumber, shipping it to San Francisco. On 
one occasion — to show the uncertainty of business — he is said to have 
consigned two ship loads to Winter & Latimer, of that city, who 
reported a low market and advised at length that they were compelled 

^^m m 



Settlement and Early Times. 107 

to sell at a sacrifice. They, moreover, presented a bill of eleven 
thousand dollars for wharfage, demanding immediate payment. By 
Mr. A. B. Bonnell, as agent, it was discovered that there were 
fifteen thousand dollars due Coffin; a judgment for which was obtained. 

The mill was burned in 1853 — after Reed had removed to Marion 
County — entailing a heavy loss upon the owners. It was situated 
near the foot of Jefferson street, at the mouth of a deep gulch which 
has long since been filled up. 

Mr. J. A. Strowbridge arrived in Portland in 1852. He was then 
but a youth, and the early days of his life in our city were much 
distressed by the death of his father, who had contracted mountain 
fever in crossing the plains. Being, however, of a courageous spirit, 
the young man soon addressed himself to business, engaging in the 
purchase and shipping of fruit to San Francisco. He was one of the 
first, if not the very first, to consign Oregon apples to dealers in 
California, and was of much service to the State dn going among the 
farmers and encouraging them to plant orchards, under the promise 
that he would take all their fruit at remunerative figures. He after- 
wards engaged in the boot and shoe business, and later in the leather 
trade, with great success, and is now one of our most wealthy 
and popular citizens. His brothers were also engaged in business 
with him at an early day. 

Mr. George W. Snell, the pioneer druggist of Portland, a native 
of Augusta, Maine, arrived at Portland early in the spring of 1851, 
having spent some ten months previously in California. With him 
was Dr. J. C. Hooper, also of Maine, and the two formed a partnership, 
bringing to Portland a stock of drugs. Dr. Hooper died in 1851, 
and Mr. Snell was soon succeeded by Mr. George L. Story, and the 
latter in turn by Smith & Davis. In the course of time this firm was 
consolidated with Hodge, Calef & Co. , and under that designation 
did business for many years. Latterly, however, it is operated under 
the firm name of Snell, Heitshu & Woodard. This house, with 
which Mr. Snell has been so long connected, and indeed at the head, 
is known throughout the Northwest as one of the great wholesale 
establishments of our city. 

108 History of Portland. 

Mr. Nelson Northrup, long known as a merchant in old Oregon, 
was born in Auburn, N. Y., and coming to Oregon engaged in 
business at the Cascades, but soon brought his stock of goods to 
Portland, where he went into partnership with Montreville Simonds, 
from Massachusetts. In 1856 he went to Coos Bay, but subsequently 
returned to Portland, where he died. 

Edward James Northrup, the son of the foregoing, was born in 
Albany, N. Y., in 1834. He came to Portland in 1852, and for a 
few years served with his father as clerk, but in 1856 engaged in 
business on his own account, opening a hardware store under the 
name of Northrup & Blossom, which was the beginning of the 
present extensive ] establishment of Thompson .& DeHart. Mr. 
Northrup died at Portland in 1883. 

Judge P. A. Marquam, whose memory will be perpetuated in the 
name of the hill at the south of the town, as well as by his public 
works, arrived in Portland, August 13th, 1851. A man of keen 
observation and excellent memory it is most delightful to listen to 
his account of his voyage hither, and of his impressions upon his 
arrival. . Upon crossing the Columbia Bar, he was much attracted by 
the sight of the verdure of the hills, and of the general appearance 
of natural exuberance of the soil. Portland, as a city, took the new 
comer somewhat aback, being yet in the deep woods. The streets 
were mire holes during the rainy weather, and settlers from below 
town hauling wood used frequently to be mired on their way through. 
A striking habit of the place was also the manner in which the 
country people, having come to town in their wagons and camped 
over night, used to get up early in the morning to pound on the 
doors of the stores to wake the still slumbering clerks. The Canton 
House on the corner of Washington and First streets, built by 
Stephen Coffin, was the principal hotel. It was a three-story wooden 
building, and may now be seen in its present position at the foot of 
Jefferson street. The Columbia Hotel had a famous proprietor in 
the person of Col. Gordon, properly Gen. Hinton, of Ohio. 

J. C. Carson, a man of wealth and influence in Portland for nearly 
forty years, was born in Center County, Pennsylvania, in 1825. In 
1832 he went to Ohio and there spent his early life, gaining an 

Settlement and Early Times. 109 

education and studying medicine. In 1850 he came to San Fran- 
cisco with the intention of aiding his former instructor in medicine 
in the establishment of a hospital in that city. From considerations 
of health, however, he decided to come to Oregon, and arrived here 
in the autumn of '51. He operated as contractor and builder until 
1857, when he erected at the foot of Jefferson street a sash and door 
factory, the first in the city. This business, long since removed to a 
site at the north end of the city near Weidler's saw mill, has now 
grown to immense proportions. Mr* Carson has been active in our 
city in educational, religious and political circles. He is one of our 
most prominent men. 

George Iy. Story, a pioneer in the drug business of our city, and at 
present an efficient member of the Fire Commission, was born in 
Manchester, Mass. , in 1833, and received his education at a private 
school in Salem. In 1847 he entered a wholesale drug store, and 
thoroughly mastered the subject of pharmacy. In 1850 he came out 
to California, and in '51 came on up the coast to Oregon. With a 
partner, Devaux Babcock, he bought out the drug store of Hooper, 
Snell & Co. and carried on the drug business here. He afterwards 
bought out Babcock and formed a partnership with Story, Redington 
& Co. , of San Francisco. He closed out his interest here, however, 
to Smith, Davis & Co. , and entered into a large wholesale business 
in San Francisco, but returned to Portland in 1862, and has remained 
here to the present time. In 1872 he was appointed to fill a vacancy 
in the Common Council, and was thereafter elected to the same 
position and served three years. He has also served in the State 
Legislature from Multnomah County. At present he conducts a 
large fire insurance business, and is a man held in high esteem by all 
our people. From no one better than from him may we gain an 
understanding of the old times in Portland, when the old pioneers 
were young men together, ambitious and eager to succeed, but all 
equals, and never so much engrossed in their own concerns as to allow 
one overtaken by bad luck to go by the board. 

W. S. Odgen came on the bark Madonna in 1849. Col. Backenstos 
was also a familiar figure. 

110 History of Portland. 

At the end of this chapter will be found a list of the names of 
those living in Portland prior to 1852, which it has been attempted 
to make complete. 


It is recorded that in 1849 the growing population felt the necessity 
of some building sufficient for public uses, and that in consequence a 
movement was set on foot for a schoolhouse, which might also serve for 
religious and other public meetings — the cooper shop now being too 
small, or too much cumbered with its own proper belongings, or the 
owner grown tired of having his tubs and buckets turned upside 
down for seats. Two thousand two hundred dollars were subscribed 
and out of this the public building was erected, and served at stated 
times, in addition to the uses indicated above, as a court room. It 
was near the Ainsworth Block. 

Portland had as yet no newspaper. Its rival, Milwaukie, was 
setting up the Western Star, and at Oregon City the Spectator was 
growing almost venerable with the weight of years. Plainly such a 
condition could not be endured. Col. Chapman, with more or less 
definite purpose to relieve the situation, went down to San Francisco, 
taking along in the bark on which he sailed a stick of fir timber 
one hundred and thirty feet long, cut from the woods on the ele- 
vation now occupied by W. S. Ladd's residence. He intended it as 
a present to the people of the golden city to serve as a flag staff". 
Finding there one Thomas J. Dryer, a journalist, with the plant of 
a newspaper, he engaged his materials *and services, agreeing with 
him that he should come to Portland and publish a journal to be 
called The Oregonian. To this work Dryer was also urged by H. 
W. Corbett, at that time in San Francisco. The office was shipped 
in October, 1850, on the bark Keoka. By reason of hard winds and 
storms the vessel did not reach the Columbia as early as expected. 
The editor elect was, moreover, stranded financially at Astoria, and 
had to be relieved by a moderate advance from the pocket of Col. 
Chapman. On this account the new paper was preceded some 
weeks by the Western Star. It was not until the 4th of December 
that the first issue appeared. On the night of its publication all 

Settlement and Early Times. Ill 

hands were busy and the town was illuminated by an immense 
bon fire in the streets. Various orgies were solemnized in the office, 
one among them being the initiation of the devil, who was blindfolded 
and made to perform certain circuits and at stated revolutions to 
abjure his former occupation by affirming that he would split no more 
rails. Col. Chapman provided a man to take a bundle of the new 
issue and start early next morning on horse back, on the west side of 
the river, and distribute the paper as far up as Corvallis and return by 
the east side. 

In its first issue the Oregonian contained some terse and forcible 
English, and complimented the people upon the rapid growth of 
their city, and the neat appearance of their residences, remarking 
that Portland was a town which had sprung up in an incredibly short 
time. "The buildings are mostly new, of good style and taste, with 
their white coats of paint, contrasted with the brown and the dingy 
appearance of towns generally on the Pacific Coast; giving it a most 
homelike appearance. " 

The Western Star, of Milwaukie, after running a few months, 
was brought down to Portland and published under the name of The 
Oregon Weekly Times. 

The Methodist church, on the corner of Third and Taylor streets, 
was dedicated in the autumn of 1850; the Congregational church, on 
Second and Jefferson, in 1851; the Catholic church on Third and 
Stark, was begun in 1851, but not dedicated until February, 1852. 

A public occasion of much interest was the celebration of St. 
John's day, in 1850, by the Masons. The people assembled at the 
Masonic Hall, which was still surrounded by logs and stumps, and 
there formed a procession, and preceded by the military band of Fort 
Vancouver, marched to the Methodist church, where was delivered an 
address by Rev. H. Lyman, followed by an oration by T. J. Dryer., 
Officers were then installed, Lieut. F. S. R. Russell, of the United 
States Army, acting as Worthy Grand Master. In the evening public 
dinner was served at the California House. In 1850 the Sons 
of Temperance were organized with much enthusiasm and large 


112 History of Portland. 

In October, 1851, a meeting of very great importance was held. 
This was to ratify publicly the opening of the road to Tualatin Plains. 
General Coffin performed the ceremony of laying the first plank, and 
speeches were delivered in which the coming grandeur of the city 
was quite accurately predicted. Mr. Tilford, a lawyer and fluent 
speaker, made the oration, using among others the following 
expressions which elicited hearty applause: "This is the commence- 
ment of an era of commercial prosperity which will continue to 
increase until the iron horse takes the place of the plank road. 
There are persons now within the sound of my voice that will live to 
see the day when a main trunk railroad will be extended from sea to 
sea; from the Atlantic to the Pacific. " 

Indeed, this road, which, however, has not to this day been 
planked, was the factor determining Portland as the site of the 
principal city. She became thereby most convenient to the farmers 
of Polk, Yamhill and Washington Counties, who would not haul 
their produce three to ten miles further to St. Johns or St. Helens. 
Although for many years very rough, and through woods so deep 
that the mud dried only by virtue of the longest droughts, it was 
nevertheless the most popular highway. 


Many vessels crossed the bar of the Columbia in 1849 and a 
number came up to Portland. Of these none was more serviceable than 
the Madonna, from New York, under Captain Couch. This was his 
third trip out, and by far the most successful. His cargo of mixed 
goods was disposed of in part at San Francisco, his lumber selling 
for $600 per thousand. On board were W. S. Ogden, a prominent 
merchant of early times, and G. H. Flanders, a sea captain, before 
this in the employ of John and Caleb Cushing. Capt. Flanders is a man 
whose energy and enterprise have done much for Portland's commerce. 
Reaching the city once more, Couch had his land surveyed and 
platted. It is said that in laying off a street he gave his half for the 
use of the public, but Stark refused to meet him half way; thus 
making A street but half width. It is also reported that upon the 
surveyor finishing the job, worth about $700, Couch offered hitnforhis 

Settlement and Early Times. 113 

pay, two blocks on Second and Third streets — which were refused. 
The Madonna was run on the route to San Francisco by Flanders, 
and the firm of Couch & Co. were so prosperous as to be able to 
dispatch in 1850 the brig Emma Preston to China — the first from 
Oregon to China. 

The unfavorable condition of steam navigation, already 
mentioned, which supplied Milwaukie with a river steamer, and St. 
Helens with ocean craft, but left Portland to voyage by canoes, or to 
depend upon uncertain winds, was earnestly examined in order to 
find a remedy. A general desire and willingness to buy a steamer of 
their own was freely expressed by the proprietors and leading 
citizens, and this being rumored abroad, attracted to the northern 
waters the Gold Hunter. She was a side-wheeler, a staunch 
little vessel, but as stated * by one who knew her well, having 
such a capacity for consuming fuel that on a week's voyage so 
much of the space between decks had to be used for storing wood 
as seriously to interfere with room for freight, passengers or 
supplies. Nevertheless, when she appeared in the Willamette and 
promised steam communication with San Francisco and the outer 
world, she was deemed acceptable and bought. Sixty thousand 
dollars was the purchase price, sufficient to . give Portlanders a 
controlling interest, and of this, twenty-one thousand dollars were 
paid on the spot; eighteen thousand six hundred dollars were 
furnished by the Portland proprietors and the rest was made up by 
the citizens in small shares; Much rejoicing was occasioned by this 
event, and Portland began to loom up at once as a seaport. Hall, a 
seafaring man then a resident of Portland, was made captain, and 
A. P. Dennison, purser. Each owned a few shares of stock. The 
jubilation, however, was short lived, and the purchase proved a 
disastrous failure. Some of the stockholders, contrary to expectation, 
disposed of their shares to the San Francisco holders, thereby giving 
to the latter a majority interest. After a few trips the Gold Hunter 
was ordered off the route and sent to Central America. This was 
done wholly without the knowledge of the Oregon owners, and they 
watched and waited in vain for the return of their steamship. She 
never came back, but was attached, on the southern coast 

114 History of Portland. 

for debt and involved her owners in still further expense and 
loss. Many blocks had to be sold by Coffin and the other proprietors 
to make good their unprofitable outlay. Although thus unfortunate, 
they did nevertheless gain their ends. The necessity of steam to 
accommodate Portland was made apparent, and the ability of her 
people to supply themselves was proven; and to forestall others 
from reaping the profits, the Lot Whitcomb, and the Pacific Mail 
steamers both made Portland their terminal point. It was in March, 
1851, that the first vessel of the latter company came hither. This 
was the steamship Columbia, a commodious and fine vessel, which 
ran uninterruptedly until 1860, doing a most successful business. 
At the latter date she was drawn off for the China trade, and in the 
Oriental seas was destroyed by fire. 1 

The establishment of the Oregonian, the opening of steam 
communication, and the construction of the wagon road to the 
Tualatin Plains were the things that gave Portland her first suprem- 
acy. Of the three none was more decisive than the wagon road, for 
it fixed the trade of the farmers, brought down loads of grain and 
other produce, and the droves of cattle and hogs. It made Portland 
popular; the occupants of the woods and plains finding here rest and 
relaxation from the limbo of their self-imposed exile. In April, 1851, 
at the first city election, which was rather a tame affair, since as yet 
there were no politics involved, there were cast two hundred and 
twenty-two votes ; indicating a population of six hundred or seven 
hundred — as a very large proportion of the inhabitants were adult 
men. Although this is but the figure of a village, it shows that 
Portland had passed all other Oregon towns, and had assumed 

i It seems that there were three captains of the name of Hall; T. A. Hall, of the 
Ocean Bird; O. C. Hall thought to be his son, of the Gold Hunter; and William Hall 
who married a daughter of Captain Warren, and afterwards went to Washington 
county, building a flour mill, but was fatally injured by the fall of a burning tree. 

Crossing the Willamette in an early day was sometimes dangerous. The story 
is told of the first ferryman's being forbidden by the proprietor of the Bast Side, to 
land on his premises; the crossing was made in a skiff, in the face of the loaded shot 
gun of the man on the Bast shore of the river. When the boat touched the sand, 
however, the ferryman, upon pretense of shipping his oars, suddenly produced a rifle 
and under its protection the passengers landed unmolested. The affair was Watched 
from the Portland shore by a number of citizens who feared a bloody issue. 

Settlement and Early Times. 115 

metropolitan importance. Indeed, whether from their spirit and 
energy, their cosmopolitan make-up, or their great expectations, the 
people of Portland have from the earliest times surrounded their city 
with the air and manner of a great place. 

As indicating something of the strength and importance of the 
city in 1851, the following list of business houses is given, which is 
believed to be comprehensive. 

H. W. Corbett, general store ; Josiah Failing, with his two sons, 
Henry and John, general store; Capt. C. H. L,ewis, of the firm of 
Allen & Lewis, general store; J. H. Couch, general store; Breck & 
Ogden, general store; A. M. & L,. M. Starr, stove and tin store; 
Capt. Norton, a small store, but did the most of his trading from his 
vessel; Thos. Prit chard, grocery; A. M. Barnes, general store; G. W. 
Vaughn, hardware; Mr. Vaughn also built the first flour mill. 
Northrup & Simonds, general store; Hiram Smith, who had the sign 
"No. 1 Smith," to distinguish him from the later arrivals of his 
name, general store; Lucien Snow, dry goods; G. W. Snell, drug 
store; Patrick Raleigh, had on hand a stock of goods to be sold out; 
Frazar & Jewett, general store. . Mr. Thos. Frazar, so universally 
known in our city came on the steamer Columbia, arriving at Astoria 
in March, 1851. From Astoria he found passage to Portland on a 
flat boat run by Capt. O'Neill, since so well known as a purser on the 
line of steamboats of the O. S. N. Co. Mr. Frazar was from 
Massachusetts, a native of Duxbury, and is a descendant of John 
Alden, famous in the history and poetry of New England. 1 , 

Besides these stores there were vessels lying in the river with 
stocks of goods for sale. One of these was a schooner from Boston, 
under Capt. Watson; another, under Capt. Benj. Smith, with A. P. 
Dennison as partner, or assistant. A French brig under Capt. 
Trevalliot, lay for some time along the shore, until by reason of 
improper unloading, and carelessness as to the fall of water, she 
careened on her side and was sunk. This Trevalliot was a notorious 

1 As men of influence, such as were known to all in the early day, were J. P. 
I/ong, a native of New Orleans and a man of intense Southern ideas who kept a 
small store on Alder street; and Thos. Pritchard, an Englishman by birth, who re- 
moved to Victoria as early as 1861. 

116 History of Portland. 

character, drunken and profane beyond measure. He gave undue 
attention to horse racing, having a dark Indian pony, that he called 
"Siskiyou," upon which he charged up and down the streets, 
defying the town boys and countrymen. 

In the latter part of 1851 there were a number of Jewish 
merchants who made a beginning here in the mercantile line and 
began to displace their Yankee competitors. 

The following is a list of the names of those living at or near 
Portland prior to 1852. It has been very carefully made up by Mr. 
John M. Breck, Mr. Geo. L. Story, Mr. Henry Failing, and Mr. T. 
B. Trevett, all of whom were living in our city at the time mentioned. 
They will be recognized as among our most capable business men of 
the present day and merit the thanks not only of the publishers of 
this work, but of all interested in Portland, for their interest and 
efficiency in helping us to make the volume complete. 

Geo. L. Story, Capt. Wm. Baker, T. B. Trevett, Col. Wm.M.King, Dr. R. B. Wilson, 
Dr. L. C. Broy, Frank D. Camp, Rev. Horace Lyman, Rev. C. S. Kingsley, Rev. J. H. 
Wilbur, Rev. St. Michael Fackler, Knute Peterson, Peter D. Hardenberg, Capt. 
Molthrop, Samuel R. Holcomb, Nelson Northrup, Mr. Simonds, G. W. Vaughn, 
Peter Brpelding, Thomas G. Robinson, J.Kohn, Levi Anderson, David Weil, Uriah 
Harris, Jack Harris, Major Tucker, Nathaniel Coe, Lawrence W. Coe, Eugene F. 
Coe„ Henry Coe, Mr. Tallentire, Thomas Gladwell, Capt. Ayres, A. D. Fitch, Wm. 
Fitch, John Thompson, Thomas Stephens, Wm. Stephens, Jas. B. Stephens, Finice 
Caruthers. James Terwilliger, Wm. Blackistone, Peter Guild, Col. Loring, Col. Frush, 
Capt. Richard Williams, Capt. Wells, Hugh D. O'Bryant, Colburn Barrell, Crawford 
Dobbin, Job McNamee, Richard White, Allen White, Robert Thompson, Shubrick 
Norris, William H. Barnhart, Thomas J. Hobbs, Nathaniel Brown, Sam B. May, 
Robt. N. McLaren, Finley McLaren, Henry W. Corbett, Josiah Failing, Henry 
Failing, John W. Failing, J. J. Lintz, Jos. W. Cleaver, Dr. Salisbury, A. M. Starr, 
L. M. Starr, Capt. O. H. Hall, Nathaniel Crosby, Thos. H. Smith, L. M. Simpson, 
Wm. Seton Ogden, John M. Breck, N. H. Owens, Orlando McNight, F. M. Smith, 
A. L. Francis, I. B. Francis, Otis J. Dimmick, John Orvis Waterman, John Thomas, 
Charles Lawrence, W. D. M. Carter, Mr. Southmayd (printer), Mr. Berry (printer), C. 
A. Reed,B. B. Comfort, Harley McDonald, George W. Higgins, Thos. Frazar, Mr. Jewitt 
T. B. McBlroy, Sam A. Clarke, Joseph Durbrow, John Ferguson, Wm.McMillen, David 
Lewis, Frank Matthias, Lewis Day, Mr. Adams, Richard Hoyt, Zenas Webber, 
Anthony L. Davis, Jas. Warren Davis, Thomas A. Davis, Lucien Snow, Herman 
Wasserman, Fleming family, John M. Murphy, Dr. B. H. Griffin, Mr. Bttlinger, 
Mr. Simonsfield, A. L. Lovejoy, F. W. Pettigrove, L. B. Hastings, D. S. Baker, 
Geo. W. Snell, Dr. Saml. Hooper, Deveaux Babcock, C. B. Pillow, A. V. Wilson, 
Clark Drew, A. B. Stuart, M. M. Lucas, Peter Fulkerson, John B. Talbot and family, 
John Donner and family, Mr. Bennett, O. Travalliot, Lucius H. Allen. C. H. Lewis, 

Land Title Controversies. 117 

Peter Dewitt, John H. Couch, John P. Couch, George Sherman, P. Hibert, M. 
Chappellier, Mr. Daulne, John Ricketson, John Mears, Frank E. Webster, Dan 
Stewart, Jas. Fruit, R. R. Reese, Thos. J. Dryer, Benj. Stark, Nehemiah Northrup, 
Mr. Northrup, Thos. J. Holmes, D. H. Hendee, Thos. A. Savier, John D. Walker, D. 
C. Coleman, W. S. Ladd, Sam Bell, Lewis May, Geo. A. Barnes, Mr. Barnes, Hiel 
Barnes, Capt. B. F. Smith, Thos. Pritchard, Hiram Smith, I. B. Smith, Richard Kis- 
sara Cooke, R. M. Field, James Field, S. S. Slater, A. H. Johnson, A. C, Bonnell, 
Zachariah Norton, R. P. Boise, Alexander Campbell, W. B, Otway, W. P. Abrams, 
Mr. Cheney, John Harlow, Moses Abbott, Dr. Isaac A. Davenport, Mr. Skidmore, 
Stephen G. Skidmore, A. P. Dennison, G. C. Robbins, C. G. Birdseye, W. B. Marye, 
J. Blumauer, W. W. Chapman, D. H. Lownsdale, Stephen Coffin, Thos. Hartness, 
J. B. Backenstos, E. D. Backenstos, Rev. Father Croke, A. B. Hallock, Frank 
DeWitt, Thos. Carter, Chas. M. Carter, T. Jefferson Carter, A. N. King, George H. 
Flanders, R. C. Baldra, Wm. Grooms, C. C. Redman, John W. W. McKay, Frank 
Tilford, Sherry Ross, Mr. Ross, E. L. Goldstein, Nelson Ham, John C. Carson, 
Joseph S. Smith, J. B. V. Butler, Mr. McBride, Mrs. Apperson and family, C. S. Silver, 
Jacob Kamm, Sargent, of Sargent & Ricketson, John C. Markly, Ed. Chambreau, 
Samuel D. Smith, Geo. Kittridge, L. C. Potter, Dan forth Balch, Capt. Irving, Gideon 
Tibbetts, James Wheeler, David N. Birdseye, Mr. Clinkenbeard, Mr. Wimple, Chas. 
P. Bacon, Wm. Sherlock, Mr. Henderson, David Fuller, J. L. Parrish, Norman 
Parrish, Samuel B. Parrish, Chas. W. Parrish, French Louis, Mr. Camp, Samuel 
Marsh, The Roberts family, Hiram Wilbur, W. B. Doublebower, Elijah B. David- 
son, Dr. Perry Prettyman, Edward Long, Lewis Love, Clinton Kelly, William Nay- 
lor, James Thompson, Eli Stewart, Dr. Ralph Wilcox, George Loring, John Elliott, 
George Elliott, Wm. L. Higgins, Wm. S. Caldwell, Richard Wiley, Wm. Bennett. 



Measures taken by Proprietors to Protect Land Purchasers' Rights — The Three 
Causes of Litigation — Legal Points in the Stark vs. Starr Case — Decision of the Courts 
—Causes of Litigation Over the Lownsdale Estate — Final Settlement of the Case in 
the United States Circuit Court— Decision of Judge Sawyer and Concurrent Opinion 
of Judge Deady — Public Levee Case — Grounds of Private and Municipal Claims to the 
River Front — How the City's Rights were Lost — Legal History of the Caruthers Claim. 

IT seems necessary to give in this work some account of the 
troublesome litigation which rested for a number of years over the 
city and retarded its growth. It is not a matter of very general 
interest, but mention of the subject cannot well be omitted, and if 
treated of at all, enough of the details should be furnished to state 
the case with clearness and definiteness. 

118 History of Portland. 

From the way in which Portland was settled, it may be surmised 
that she had a world of legal difficulties and vexatious questions as to 
the titles of property. Such difficulties were clearly forseen by the 
founders and proprietors, and everything possible was done to forefend 
and guard against them. In point of fact, the measures adopted at 
the very first to give validity and permanency to all titles conveyed 
were eventually confirmed by the highest courts in the nation, but 
this did not prevent a long, tedious, expensive and, as it seemed at 
length, a useless controversy. 

When Portland was laid off, in 1845, the ownership not only of 
her site, but of the whole territory was in hot dispute between the 
United States and Great Britain. Nobody knew whether the Union 
Jack or the Stars and Stripes ought to be run up at the gable peak of 
the old hewed log store and at the little wharf on the river bank. Of 
course, the Americans expected that Oregon would be held by their 
National Government, and the existing authority in the land, such 
as it was, was vested in a local Government which boasted a Governor, 
a Legislature, supported an army and established courts. It also had 
recognized the necessity of some sort of land legislation, and had 
passed a law that any one might hold the ' ' section ' ' of land upon 
which he was living by right of actual possession. But, in its very 
nature, this Government at Oregon City was provisional — having 
stated in its preamble that it was intended to hold the reins of 
government only until such time as the United States should extend 
her authority over Oregon. It was, therefore, uncertain how the 
land legislation and land titles would stand when that time should 
arrive. Such legislation and titles might be confirmed or supplanted 
by something else. 

• From 1845, the time Portland was started, until 1848, the time 
that the Territorial Government was set up, was a period of three 
years of uncertainty, and it was two years longer before the Donation 
Act was passed, which substantially recognized and confirmed the 
land system of the Provisional Government; and it was not until 
1852 that any exact or absolute title was obtained for the town site 
of Portland. 


y -"b^a K e^ 

Land Title Controversies. 119 

To obviate the difficulties that might spring up, the proprietors took 
all the precautionary steps that honest and conscientious men could 
devise. When Lownsdale, in 1848, purchased the town site and 
obtained a partner in the person of General Coffin, an agreement 
was made that all lots which had been sold hitherto should be 
confirmed to the purchasers; that Coffin should obtain as quickly as 
possible a United States patent to the tract, and that good deeds 
should then be given to all those who had bought or should buy. 
When, in 1849, Chapman became a partner, the same agreement was 
continued. When, in 1852, it was decided that the property could 
be obtained only by a division of interests so that Iyownsdale should 
take one portion, Chapman a second, and Coffin the third, they all 
signed an agreement with an enormous bond attached, that so soon 
as they obtained legal title they would at once issue deeds to all 
previous purchasers confirming their certificates. 

But, in spite of all these precautions, it was a matter of certainty 
that titles would be contested. It was beyond peradventure that 
somebody, at some time, would desire to push the question beyond 
simple private agreement, or the transient legislation of the Provisional 
Government to the hard and fast decree of the Supreme Court of 
the United States. The contest came early and was exceedingly hot, 
but perhaps was just as well decided then as at any other time. 
There was considerable temporary feeling generated, and those who 
were put to expense to maintain what they considered their honest 
rights naturally felt some exasperation at those who contested them. 

There were, in general, three main questions to be decided. 
These arose first, from the claims of Benjamin Stark; second, from 
the claims of the heirs of D. H. L,ownsdale; and third, from the 
disposition by the proprietors of what was called ' ' the levee. ' ' 

As to the claims of Stark, he, as we have already recorded, had 
purchased Lovejoy's interest in the 640 acres of land which then 
constituted Portland, but when he went to San Francisco not long 
after, leaving his interest to the care of Capt. Couch, it seems to have 
been supposed by Lownsdale that he had abandoned his claim. 
Nevertheless, while yet in California, and upon returning from the 
gold mines, he asserted his rights and it was finally agreed as the 

120 History of Portland. 

most equitable settlement that his claim should be conceded to that 
triangular strip which now constitutes the central portion of the city, 
namely: the piece bounded by Stark and A streets and the river. 
But from previous agreements which appear to have been entered into 
by the proprietors when they supposed that their rights extended 
down to Couch's line, there arose a number of cases which had to be 
settled in equity before the United States District Courts. One of 
these, as a specimen, may be introduced here. This was the case of 
Stark vs. Starr. It appears that as early as 1850 certain lots 1, 2, 
and 4, in block 81, had been occupied by persons who had what 
they regarded as deeds as good as were to be obtained at the time. 
To be sure these deeds were not given by Stark. The deed to lot 1 
had the following genealogy: One Eastman had possession of it, 
although it does not appear by what legal authority, and gave a deed 
thereto to Hutchins and Hale, who passed on the same to A. M. 
Starr and A. P. Ankeny. There was one other link by a certain 
man, Barnhart, who at one time had a certificate on execution to 
enforce a judgment of Norton vs. Winter and Latimer, but L. M. 
Starr was unable to trace his deed to Barnhart. As to lot 2, of the 
same block, a deed was found from Chapman for the south half, and 
from Butler to McCoy and also from Marye to McCoy. Lot 4 was 
found to have been passed in 1850 from Chapman to Powell; iii 1$56 
from Powell to A. M. Starr, and in 1865 from A. M. Starr to L. M. 
Starr. None of these deeds were traced to Stark, who got his title direct 
from the United States, and was the first recorded owner. There was 
a statement by Stark that he never gave a deed to these lots on 
account of the fact that Chapman had never paid him for them — thus 
showing quite clearly that all the lots had at some time been held in 
some sort of an unwritten agreement between Starr and Chapman, 
but whatever that agreement 6t understanding might have been 
nothing of it was at first produced before the Court. 

In this situation it appears that Stark concluded to establish what 
rights he might possess in this quarter, and consequently instituted 
suit in equity before the District Court at Portland to recover 
possession. It was decided by the Court that the land had never 
been conveyed away from Stark, and that whatever understanding 

Land Title Controversies. 121 

there was prior to his acquirement of title under the Donation 
Act was not material. It was held, however, that the Starrs were 
holding this property under color of title and in good faith, and 
they were allowed compensation for their improvements, estimated 
to be worth $2,000. The possession of the lots, however, was 
awarded to Stark, and he was also found entitled to rent, which 
amounted to $5,312.50. 

But while Stark thus carried through his case in the United 
States District Court, in action on the law side of the Court, Starr 
had been instituting suit on the equity side of the Circuit Court of 
Oregon for the County of Multnomah as early as 1864, claiming 
the lots on two grounds: first, that there had been issued a patent 
to the city of Portland from the United States L,and Office, in 
accordance with the townsite law of 1844, giving it the section 
upon which the town was built, in trust for the residents of the 
city, with due regard for the interests and titles of Stark, L,ownsdale, 
Chapman and Coffin; and second, on the ground that Stark received 
his patent under the Donation Act to the lots in question in trust 
for Starr. By the Circuit Court of Oregon it was decided that but 
one of these causes could be pleaded in one suit, and at plaintiff's 
option the former was chosen. The lots were awarded by this Court 
to Starr; upon appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, this decision 
was reaffirmed; but upon appeal thence to the United States Supreme 
Court, the title given to the City of Portland, in accordance with the 
townsite law of 1844, was declared void, and Starr's claim to his 
lots fell with it. 

But, not being discouraged by an adverse decision, and remem- 
bering that he still had cause of action left behind, Starr went back 
then to that second cause, instituting suit on the equity side of the 
United States Circuit Court to recover possession of the lots on the 
ground that when Stark got a patent from the United States covering 
the ownership of the lots, 1, 2 and half of 4, in block 81, it was 
simply in trust for himself, in pursuance of certain promises and 
transactions given and consummated long before. The case came 
up before Judge Sawyer, of the United States Circuit Court, and 
Judge Deady, of the United States District Court. In the trial the 

122 History of Portland. 

facts which were not shown in the case of Stark vs. Starr,. as 
mentioned above, were developed, and they explained how Chapman 
happened to be selling land which appeared only under Stark's patent, 
as follows: Stark and Lownsdale were both in San Francisco early 
in 1850, the former leaving Couch as his attorney at Portland, and 
the latter investing Colonel Chapman with the same powers. While 
there, Stark and Lownsdale talked over their rights and claims 
in the Portland townsite, the former urging that he had a half 
interest on account of his purchase of Lovejoy's interest, (although, 
as it is said, Mrs. Lovejoy never signed the deed), while Lowns- 
dale spoke of his purchase of tlie whole site for $5,000 from 
Pettygrove. But, it was finally agreed in writing to make a 
division whereby Lownsdale should relinquish to Stark all that portion 
of the claim north of a certain line which coincides very nearly with 
the present Stark street; and Stark was to relinquish all south of that 
line to Lownsdale. It was provided, however, by the latter, that the 
consent of certain other persons (by which he meant his partners Chap- 
man and Coffin), must be obtained. But, in the meantime, while the 
two were making this arrangement in San Francisco, Colonel 
Chapman, acting in his own right and also as attorney for Lownsdale, 
and not knowing of the agreement, had bought of the company of 
which he was a member, this block on Stark's portion; and at the 
same time arranged to sell two other blocks, respectively, to Lownsdale 
and Coffin. About a month after this Lownsdale came up to Portland 
and told his partners of his arrangement with Stark. They refused 
at once to* agree to it, but upon condition that block 81 and the other 
blocks which had been sold since March 1st, or the time of the 
agreement between Stark and Lownsdale in San Francisco, be left 
as it had been agreed by the sales of Chapman, the arrangement was 
ratified and signed by Couch as attorney for Stark. In June, Stark 
also came back to Portland and made no objection to the arrangement 
of April 13th, by which block 81 was secured to Chapman; and he 
received from Chapman a list of all lots sold out of the part assigned 
to him north of Stark street. 

In view of these facts it was held by Judge Sawyer that Colonel 
Chapman had received a valid title from Stark to the block, good 

Land Title Controversies. 123 

against all parties but the United States, and that when Stark got a 
title to this block from the United States it was as in the nature of a 
trust for Chapman, or his assigns, of whom Starr was the latest at 
that time. It appeared, therefore, that Chapman gave his deeds to 
the property in good faith and had never been required to pay 
anything to Stark, other than that Stark was to be left in peaceable 
possession of the whole tract north of Stark street, to which Chapman 
had color of one-third interest. This Chapman gave and Stark 
received without complaint; the ownership of block 81 being the 
consideration, or offset, for which Chapman relinquished all claim 
to that portion of the townsite. 

The details of the case, which was thus consummated, are best 
studied, however, with the second series of cases which arose from 
the claims of Lownsdale' s heirs, to which we now invite the attention 
of the reader. Indeed, we do not know but that we owe an apology 
for going minutely into the legal subtleties of these very subtle 
cases, which Judge Sawyer declared to be sui generis] or like nothing 
else in the world. 

Lownsdale respected all the agreements by which he and his 
partners were selling town lots, but upon his death his heirs very 
naturally desired to find out the exact limits of his estate and what 
were their own rights and interest in it. He left many heirs, most of 
whom were residents of Indiana, or some other eastern State. These 
were John R. Lamb, Emma S. Lamb, and Ida Squires, children of 
Sarah Squires, deceased daughter of D. H. Lownsdale; Mary E. 
Cooper, J. P. O. Lownsdale, Millard O. Lownsdale and Ruth A. 

They found that D. H. Lownsdale had sold, together with his 
partners, many lots from the claim to which he was afterwards 
awarded a title without any reservation by the United States Land 
Office. They found that he had given no title to such lots connecting 
with this patent. There appeared nothing upon any legal record to 
show that he had given a fee of permanent right and title to any 
portion of the land which appeared to have been alienated, and they 
wished to know whether the lots that now appeared to be in the 

124 History of Portland. 

possession of various Portland people were so by legal title, or simply 
by way of temporary occupancy which ceased as soon as L,ownsdale 
obtained his patent. 

The question also naturally arose, First, how could I^ownsdale 
give title for anything more than mere possession to land to which he 
had no title except of mere possession, as was the case with him 
before he received a patent in 1852 ? Second, how could a title to 
Lownsdale for land which he entered in 1852 give any title in the 
same land, or parts of it, to those who purchased mere possession 
before that date ? Third, after Lownsdale got a title to the whole 
claim without any legal reservations, did he not own the whole of it 
without reservation ? Or by what compulsion could any one obtain 
from him or his heirs, title to land in every part of which he held 
a perfect and complete title from the United States, to the exclusion 
of all others ? Fourth, even supposing that he had made promises to 
give title to certain lots which he had sold for valuable considerations, 
when he should get a title himself, was he not prevented, or barred 
out from doing so, by the clause in the Donation Act providing that 
affidavit must be made by all who filed upon land under this act that 
the land claimed ' 'is for their own use and cultivation, and that they 
have made no sale or transfer, or any arrangement, or any agreement 
of sale * * * by which the land shall inure to the benefit of any 
other persons ?" 

In looking over all the facts in the case, it seemed to them and to 
eminent counsel, that the sales made by Lownsdale before he acquired 
his legal title were wholly illegal and invalid and without binding 
force in law, and could extend only to simple temporary possession 
and use which the purchasers had already enjoyed; and they deter- 
mined to enter suit to recover all property which was included under 
the specifications of the patent issued to D. H. Lownsdale by the 
United States. This would of course, dispossess a large number of Port- 
land's property holders who supposed that they had titles to their land, 
and in this faith had built upon and improved their property* and were 
confidently expecting to reap their millions of profit when the great 
growth of the future should come. The legal possibilities of the case 
were so great as to attract universal attention and to elicit a multitude 

Land Title Controversies. 125 

of opinions from lawyers and others acquainted with law and 
judgments. Sympathies of all kinds, this way and that, were 
excited, and the prospect was that many innocent purchasers would 
be thrown out of their valuable holdings; for the difficulties in the 
way of establishing a legal right to the persons then holding lots 
were confessedly very great. 

It was evident from the start that the courts must proceed in one 
of two ways — either to stick to the letter of the law and follow a strict 
and narrow construction, and recognize no title except that conferred 
by the United States Patent; or else to take a general view of the 
circumstances and necessities of the case and decide upon the general 
equities and common understanding of all parties, and to let posses- 
sion count for all that it was worth. 

So far as the heirs of Lownsdale were concerned, it could be very 
properly claimed for them that they were entitled to all the property 
and wealth that had been accumulated by him, and that those who 
had been enjoying the use of his property for so many years without 
rent or other burden, and for a considerable part of which they had 
paid but nominal prices, should now be willing to relinquish it to 
the rightful owners. On the other hand, on the part of the people 
of Portland, it could be claimed that they had bought these lots with 
the expectation of permanent possession; that they had cleared them 
of timber, reduced them to order, built upon them commodious 
houses, had made for themselves and families permanent homes, and 
had by their toil and self-denial at least assisted Lownsdale in creating 
a metropolis, and by their very living and working here had multiplied 
the value of Lownsdale' s remaining property so that what was left to his 
heirs was now many times as valuable as it would have been if 
they had not incurred all this effort and expense. 

As attorney for the lot-owners Colonel Chapman was retained. 
His legal abilities and acumen were well recognized and he was 
specially prepared to conduct such a case as this, all the details of 
which he had known most thoroughly and kept account of most 
diligently. Dr. Davenport was selected as the one against whom the 
complainants, or heirs at law, should move, and by whose claims the 
equities in the case should be determined. District Judge M. P. 

126 History of Portland. 

Deady, of our city, most readily agreed to the suggestion that Judge 
Sawyer of the United States Circuit Court should be present from San 
Francisco, and the case on both sides was conducted with the utmost 
good spirit and with conspicuous ability, and the final decision of the 
Court was so careful, cogent and just, as to pass finally without 
exceptions through the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Without following the argument of the lawyers, which was very 
voluminous, it is possible to give here a brief abstract of the decision 
itself. It may be premised in a general way that the Court followed 
a liberal construction, not exactly of the law, as but little law was 
involved, but rather of the necessities and circumstances of the case. 
It recognized the validity of the agreements entered into by the 
proprietors before any United States patents were issued. After giving 
due attention to the facts in the case, Sawyer's opinion proceeds as 
follows (First Sawyer, 619) u The decision of this action, I am satisfied, 
mtist turn upon the validity, construction, and effect of the said 
various contracts aud conveyances * * * and these must be 
construed in the light of the condition of things existing at the time 
and with reference to which they were executed. 

"It is a matter of public history, of which the Court can take 
notice, that Oregon was settled while the sovereignty of the country 
was still in dispute between the United States and Great Britain; that 
subsequently, a provisional government was organized and put in 
operation by the people, without any authority of the sovereign 
powers; that laws were passed temporarily reg-ulating and protecting 
claims made upon public lands; and that afterwards, the terrritorial 
government was established under the authority of Congress and put 
in operation long before there was any law or means by which the 
real title to any portion of land in Oregon could be obtained. The . 
title to the lands in Oregon were vested in the United States from the 
moment that the right of sovereignty was acquired, and the first law 
that was passed, by which the title in fee could in any way be 
acquired from the government was the said Act of September 10th, 
1850, called the Donation Act. Long before that time, however, an 
organized community had existed; lands had been taken up and 

Land Title Controversies. 127 

improved; towns laid out, established and built up, having a consid- 
erable population and a growing commerce. It was necessary, in the 
nature of things, that some right of property should be recognized 
in lands, in the dealings of the people among themselves, and laws 
were adopted by the provisional government regulating the subject. 
Tracts of land were taken up and claimed by the settlers within the 
limits, as to quantity allowed; towns laid off, and lands and town 
lots sold and conveyed from one to another, in all respects as though 
the parties owned the fee, except that every party dealing with the 
lands, necessarily knew that he did not, and could not, under the 
existing laws obtain the fee from the real proprietor. * * * 

u But between man and man possession is evidence of title in fee, 
as against everybody but the true owner. The law protects in his 
possession the party who has once possessed himself of and appro- 
priated to his use a piece of unoccupied land until he has lost his 
possession and right of possession by abandonment, as against 
everybody but the true owner. Such possession* and right of 
possession are recognized as property by the common law, and the 
right is protected and enforced by the Courts. ****** 
Prior appropriation is the origin of all titles. Prior discovery and an 
actual or constructive appropriation is the origin of title even in 
governments themselves. For communities situated like that in the 
early settlement of Oregon, no rule could be adopted which would 
better subserve the public interest than to treat prior occupancy as 
giving a provisional title to lands in reasonable quantities and under 
proper restrictions, and thereafter, until the real title can be obtained 
from the Government, deal with it as between individuals in all 
respects as if the prior occupancy originated and vested a title in fee. 
This is the natural order of things, and affords a rule of conduct 
consonant with the ordinary course of dealings, and the common 
experience of mankind in organized communities." 

Proceeding upon this broad basis, the Judge cited the circumstances 
of the case in hand; the Portland L,and Claim was taken up, lots sold, 
improved and lived upon. The party thus occupying acquired 
possession as against all but the true owner — the United States. This 

right could be transferred by sale like any other. 

128 History of Portland. 

"Lownsdale was, on March 30th, 1849, in possession of the six 
hundred and forty acres, except certain lots already sold. On that 
day two instruments were executed, each evidently a part of one 
and the same transaction, between Iyownsdale and Coffin, forming a 
partnership, by which the legal title was to be vested in Coffin, but 
to be held in trust for the joint benefit of the two. All profits of 
sale to be were divided, every exertion made to acquire title, each 
paying half of expenses, and upon dissolution Coffin is to convey 
one-half to Lownsdale of whatever he may have under title. In 
this agreement Lownsdale and Coffin were to own each a half interest 
in all the six hundred and forty acres, except certain lots already sold 
to various parties as town property; but every exertion was to be 
made to gain a title to the whole six hundred and forty acres, not 
excepting those lots — showing that they claim no further interest in 
those lots, but were to get title to them for the benefit of those to 
whom the lots had been sold. 

u When, in 1849., Chapman was admitted, the three partners were 
to have an equal interest in the property, excepting town lots already 
sold previous to this date as town property; and, in 1852, when the 
section had to be divided up in severalty, so that the proprietors might 
obtain a title on their own individual account, as provided by the 
Donation Act, they make an agreement in which they set forth the 
fact that they have already obligated themselves to make to their 
grantees a general warranty deed whenever they, as grantors, shall 
obtain title from the United States, and bind themselves again to 
make such deeds to the original grantees, their heirs, assigns, etc. , 
whenever they should get the patents for which they were then taking 
steps to obtain. 

" Whenever a new partner was admitted it was expressly 
provided that the lots already sold should be excluded from the use 
of the partners, but that the title must be got for all. Whence it 
follows that acquisition of title was for the benefit of the purchasers, 
and not of the vendors — partners — only. ' ' 

It was also further held by Judge Sawyer that although Lownsdale 
only promised to give the deed when he got a title, and was under 
no compulsion by that promise to get a title, yet nevertheless that 

Land Title Controversies. 129 

when he did proceed to obtain a patent, although voluntarily, he was 
not thereby relieved of the trust which rested in his promise or 
covenant, but that the trust, having passed from the covenant, now 
rested in the title, which he procured, and the title thus acquired was 
in pursuance of the covenant, and therefore for the benefit of the 
parties designated in the covenant. Moreover, it could not be allowed 
that Lownsdale was receiving any new valuable consideration frcm 
the vendees when he agreed to acquire for them a deed for lots 
previously purchased and paid for, since the only possible value 
derivable to him from such deed, or promise of it, would be to 
prevent purchasers going forward to make a claim to their lots in 
their own name, under the Donation Act, and thus allow him an 
opportunity to file on the whole claim and get legal title to the 
whole of it, to the exclusion of the owners or purchasers, of the lots. 
But that would be a presumption of bad faith and fraud, which 
should not be admitted. The fact that Lownsdale proceeded volun- 
tarily to get title, and not under compulsion of his covenant, or that 
he received no valuable consideration for procuring this title, would 
not, therefore, make any difference with the binding nature of his 
covenant, which was legally fulfilled by the very fact of his obtaining 

Still further, it was held that the clause requiring an affidavit of 
those entering lands under the Donation Act, that such land was for 
their own use and they had made no contract to sell it, should be 
decided, or interpreted, in the same liberal spirit. It was held that 
the law was enacted with a view to the existing state of things, 
contemplating the fact that many settlers had been living long on their 
claims, had already sold and bought; and that to confirm sales already 
made, in the course of business in the past, was no ( 'future contract' ' " 
such as was contemplated and prohibited by the law. At all events, 
the clause must be construed so as to work both ways: if it were held 
to prevent those who had bought land from Lownsdale from holding 
their lots, it must also be held to prevent Lownsdale from perfecting 
his title; since it was no more an infraction of the law for them to 
buy than for Lownsdale to sell. But Lownsdale had been permitted 
to obtain title, in spite of his former promise to grant titles to 

130 History of Portland. 

purchasers, and upon the validity of his patent must the whole 
validity of the claim of the plaintiffs be made to rest. * But, if his 
title was valid, in face of his covenant, that covenant was not 
invalidated by the clause in the Donation Act prohibiting future 

The above is but a brief abstract of this most valuable document 
which brought peace to a large number of Portland lot holders. To 
sum it up, Judge Sawyer held that in the conditions of the case, and 
of society, and since a town could have been built in no other way 
at that stage in the development of Oregon, the promises, agreements 
and covenants of the proprietors before they got a legal title were 
still valid after they got that title, and that there was nothing in the 
Donation Act, or any United States law, to prevent their execution. 
The cross bill of Dr. Davenport was, therefore, allowed and posses- 
sion of the property given him; while the bill of the Lownsdale 
heirs, praying for relief, was denied. 

Judge Deady concurred, in the following language: "I concur in 
the conclusion reached by the Circuit Judge. After careful consid- 
eration, and not without some doubt and hesitation, I have become 
satisfied that by force of the agreement of March 10, 1852, and the 
subsequent action of L,ownsdale, Coffin and Chapman, under and in 
pursuance of it, each of them took and obtained from the United 
States a separate portion of the Land Claim in trust for the purchasers 
or vendees of any lots situated therein, and before that time, sold by 
any or all of these parties. 

' 'From the passage of the Donation Act — September 27, 1850 — 
and prior thereto, L,ownsdale, Coffin and Chapman had held this land 
claim in common, and made sale of lots throughout the extent of it; 
but on March 10, 1852, by means of this agreement, and with 
intent to conform to the provisions of said act and obtain the benefit 
thereof, they partitioned the claim between themselves so that each 
was thereafter enabled to proceed for himself, and notify upon and 
obtain a donation of a separate portion of the whole tract. 

"The Donation Act was a grant in praesenti. Each of these 
settlers — Lownsdale, Coffin and Chapman — was upon the land at the 
date of its passage, and from that time is deemed to have an estate 

Ewj.ajS,m^' mi 


Land Title Controversies. 131 

in fee simple in his donation, subject only to be defeated by a failure 
on his part to perform the subsequent conditions of residence, cultiva- 
tion and a proof thereof. This being so, it follows that at the date 
of this agreement either of these parties could impress a trust upon 
his donation in favor of any one. And, even if it be considered that 
the settlers acquired no interest in the land until the partition and 
notification before the Surveyor General, still each one having 
acquired a separate portion of the common claim in pursuance and 
partly by means of this agreement, so soon as he did so acquire it, the 
trust provided for in it became as executed at once, and might be 
enforced by the beneficiary thereof, although a mere volunteer, from 
whom no meritorious consideration moved.' ' 

He doubted, however, whether the purchaser of lots could be 
shown to have contributed in any way to the acquisition of the land 
from the United States, thinking the taking of portions in less 
quantities than the smallest legal sub-division, forty acres, was 
unknown, if not illegal; and that lot holders at Portland would not, 
in those days of change, think of serving four years to secure simple 
lots, the value of which was then very problematical. Nor was it 
likely that any one of the citizens was living upon and cultivating 
such lots in accordance with the Donation Act. The lot-owner had 
no right, except to bare possession, and must look to the settler for 
perfect title, relying upon the written obligation which, in most 
instances, was given. 

He summed up the case thus : ' 'I think the agreement of March 
10th, 1852 a valid instrument, and not within the prohibition entered 
in section four of the Donation Act, against 'All future contracts' 
'for the sale of land', granted by the act. By its terms it appears 
to be a contract concerning the making of title to the parcels or lots 
of land already sold, and, for aught that appears before the passage of 
the Donation Act. But if this were doubtful good policy, it seems 
tome it requires that the instrument, as between the parties to it, and 
in favor of those intended to be benefitted by it, should be so 
construed and upheld." 

Following is the agreement referred to so often in the foregoing 
decision, and may be regarded as the palladium of the Portland land 

132 History of Portland. 

titles, and the end of controversy to all contestants. It was made in 
March, 1852, when the proprietors found that it was impossible to 
secnre a title jointly to the land which they had been holding and 
selling as partners. Each covenants that 

"First, He will fulfill and perform all contracts and agreements 
that he has entered into with the others, or each of them, or with 
other persons, respecting the said tract of land or any part thereof. 

"Second, That he will never abandon or remove from the claim 
which he, simultaneously with the signing and sealing hereof, shall 
make with the said Surveyor General, to a portion of the said 
Portland tract, until he shall obtain a patent from the government of 
the United States, that is to say ; 

"Third, That he will use. all due diligence to procure a patent for 
the same and that to this end, he will in all respects fulfill and 
perform the requisition of the law upon this subject: and 

"Fourth, That when patent should be so obtained he will make 
good and sufficient deeds of general warranty for all lots or parts of 
lots in the part or tract so patented to him, which may heretofore 
have been sold or agreed by said parties jointly; or any of them 
separately, to be sold; that said deed, of course, is in all cases, to be 
made to the original grantee, etc. ' ' 

For the faithful performance of this covenant, the proprietors 
bound themselves in the sum of three hundred thousand dollars. 

Ivownsdale filed his notification, in pursuance of the above 
covenant, with the Surveyor General, March 11th, 1852, dating his 
settlement back to September 22nd, 1848. His certificate was issued 
on October 17th, 1860; and the patent was obtained January 15th, 
1865. The period covered by the contests in the courts was from 
about 1863 until the final decision by the United States Supreme 
Court some ten years later. By this, Judge Sawyer's opinion was 

The third set of cases arose out of contests about the public levee, 
the possession of which was contested by the city and private 
individuals alternately — the strip of land on the river bank between 
the shore line and Front street. The proprietors, who had become 
familiar with river transportation on the Mississippi, where the 

Land Title Controversies. 133 

dykes and levees were used for a sort of depot and point of lading 
for the flat boats and steamers that traversed the river, seem to 
have entertained the idea that the city front might be used in 
the same manner here, and that the public interests of the. city and 
community would be conserved by dedicating this to the people as 
public property, like a street or park. Coffin, Lovejoy and Petty- 
grove were regarded as having set this aside as a public levee, and the 
whole front of the original claim was included. Nevertheless, while 
it was understood by the public generally that the water front was 
reserved for the free use of the people, it was never shown in court 
that any proprietor, either before or after the land was acquired under 
the U. S. Patent had made any dedication, and in opposition to the 
general understanding, the proprietors made from time to time private 
use of it as if they still regarded themselves as owners. Petty grove 
and Lovejoy kept upon the levee a private wharf and slaughter-house. 
When Lownsdale came into possession of the townsite he also held 
a wharf on the levee as private property. 

Nevertheless, the Portland people had firmly imbedded in their 
minds the idea that they collectively owned the levee, and asserted in 
court that they paid higher prices for their lots because they were 
assured that they should have free use of the river front. The 
matter was brought into court in 1850. l In that year Mr. Lownsdale 
had a building erected upon the fractional block east of Front street, 
between the river and a lot owned by J. L. Parrish. The latter 
claimed that his free use of the river was impaired thereby, that the 
understanding in accordance with which he had purchased his lot 
was violated, and he therefore sued to have the obstruction removed. 
While the case was pending, a compromise was agreed upon that if 
Parrish would withdraw the suit, the river front from Washington to 
Maine street should be dedicated as a public levee for the free use of 

1 It is stated by an early resident of Portland that in 1850 a lot on the levee was 
sold to Captain Norton, who began to make improvements. His right to the water 
front was disputed by those owning behind him, on the ground that this, like a street, 
was dedicated to the public. In a meeting of the proprietors, C. H. Reed sitting as 
representative and attorney in fact for Coffin, who was absent, it was decided to 
compromise by leaving Norton in possession of his lot, but to allow the public to use 
the rest as public property. 

134 History of Portland. 

the people. The fact that the proprietors made any such concession 
shows plainly that they recognized the popular idea as at least 
partially correct, and was an admission that they had given the 
people some right to suppose that they might use the river bank 
without rent or other payment. In this case, the matter was proposed 
to be settled the more willingly by the proprietors, because a vexatious 
law suit as to title of any considerable portion of the town tended 
to retard growth, and to derange business. 

But the people of the city took no wise steps to secure their rights 
if they had any. The suit to remove obstructions was not with- 
drawn, and therefore, L,ownsdale was released from his part of the 
promise. The common council of Portland acted in a manner 
peculiar and contradictory. They either forgot for a time that they had 
any rights to protect and secure for the city, or deemed these of little 
importance. In 1850, L^ownsdale had had the city surveyed by one 
R. V. Short, and from this survey a map was made by John Brady. 
According to this map, Front street — then called Water — was bounded 
on the east side by a line parallel with the western boundary, and the 
land on the river bank east of the street was laid off in lots and blocks 
according to the meanderings of the river. In 1852, the common 
council seemed to consider it a good plan to adopt some map as an 
authoritative diagram of the city, and probably because the Brady map 
was most convenient they declared it to be the correct plat of Portland. 
By this stroke they signed away whatever right they had to the levee. 
In 1860, however, another council revived the old matter, having 
discovered during the eight years intervening that the Brady map 
made no account of the levee, and they now declared that the river 
front was public property. A crusade was made against those who 
had put buildings upon the levee, and it was ordained that all such 
obstructions be removed. About this time, if report is not at fault, 
Mr. Geo. W. Vaughn, one of Portland's early mayors and the 
proprietor of the Portland flouring-mill, was ousted from his holding 
on the levee, by order of the council, and, in disgust, took up his 
residence for a time in the rival city of Vancouver. A wharf that 
was in process of construction according to the directions of J. P. O. 
Iyownsdale, was proceeded against. His agents and builders were 
arrested, and it was threatened to tear down the structure. 

Land Title Controversies. 135 

After these vigorous measures, however, a great hubbub having 
been raised, the Council changed its course, repealed its former 
declaration and ordained that the levee was private property, and that 
taxes must be paid upon it. The suit brought by Mr. J. P. O. 
Ivownsdale to enjoy the use and possession of his property was 
decided in his favor — the Court finding that there was no proof that 
Iyovejoy, Pettygrove, Chapman, Coffin or D. H. L,ownsdale had ever 
given the levee to the public; that they had no power to give 
anything of this property before 1850, since there was no title before 
that date; that Lownsdale's donation certificate gave him title to the 
levee; that he claimed all proprietary rights upon it, using, renting 
and selling portions, and that the city had twice publicly admitted 
his claim, and had compelled him to pay taxes upon it. Nevertheless, 
it will always be understood by many that at the beginning, or in 
the early days, Portland supposed she owned the water front for the 
public, and that the proprietors had some intention of facilitating 
commerce and providing against extortion of wharfingers by having 
a free front for the use of boatmen, farmers and shippers. But, 
whatever rights she had, she allowed to slip through her fingers. 

There was, however, a levee still left. General Coffin dedicated 
to the city a strip from Jefferson street southward along the river 
bank to Clay street. He reserved for himself only the right of using 
it for purposes of ferriage, but afterwards sold this right to the city, 
giving at that time a quit claim to the whole tract. The question 
what to do with the property was variously agitated at different times 
before the City Council. Recommendations for leasing it for the 
benefit of the city were incorporated in municipal reports, and 
suggestions for improvements so as to make it of service to the 
public were occasionally made. But it was, for the most part, 
neglected for years. In 1885 the Portland & Willamette Valley 
Railway, having for some time labored to obtain the use of the 
property, was favored with a bill passed by the Oregon Legislature 
granting them the premises for the] purposes of a depot. This was 
held not to be inconsistent with its use as a public levee, on the 
ground that the dedication having been made in favor of the public, 
the State rather than the city was the beneficiary. Formerly the city 

136 History of Portland. 

named the levee as one of its own properties, but in the late enumer- 
ations it has disappeared, and, as a matter of fact, the whole river 
front is in private possession, and the city or the public makes claim 
to no adverse rights. 

Of course, all this was not consummated without litigation and 
legislative pressure. It would seem that such a property as the river 
front, or that donated by Coffin, was too valuable for the city to lose, 
and history must call those officials who, by neglect, forfeited the 
gift, to a severe account. The intention of Coffin was good and his 
policy correct, and if by constructing a suitable wharf, and charging 
reasonable rates for the use of it, or by leasing the privilege and 
fixing wharf rates at a reasonable price, the city had carried out his 
idea, Portland would always have had the ability to make the best 
terms for wharfage, stowage and shipping. Nevertheless, it was an 
idle thought to place any such trust in the hands of men chosen at 
municipal elections. Special trustees, apart from all political interests 
and persuasions, should have been appointed and the property 
managed much as are the City Water Works at present. } 

With this we may dismiss the cases that grew out of the actions 
of the original claimants and their heirs, and remember that the first 
disposition of property by I^ownsdale and the other proprietors, was 
confirmed by judicial decisions, except that the contemplated levee, 
for the use of the public, was, principally by the inefficiency of the 
city authorities, suffered to fall into private hands. 

In respect to the claim of Finice and Elizabeth Caruthers, on the 
south side of the city, there was also much litigation, which at the 
close took a somewhat ludicrous turn. The Caruthers were mother 

1 Colonel Chapman states that in the first years all the owners and proprietors at 
Portland were acquainted with the levee system of the Western cities, and particu- 
larly with the commercial methods of Cincinnati. When, however, Couch improved 
his claim, and built a covered wharf, in the style of the New England sea ports, it 
was seen that the great convenience of this method would make his place the 
terminus of vessels, and to induce them to land or load above, it was necessary to 
build docks and have regular warehouses. It was, therefore, decided to abandon the 
idea of a levee, and by selling the water front encourage the building of proper 
shipping facilities. The legal difficulties and contests that followed were regarded 
as unimportant. The proprietors regarded themselves as merely making the best 
disposition of their own property for the good of the city. 

Land Titus Controversies. 137 

and son, and they came to Portland in 1850. There was some sort of 
mystery about their former life, and Finice lived much alone, never 
marrying. The two, upon arriving here, bought the land belonging 
to William Johnson, who lived south of town. On the side hill amid 
the fir trees, they built a cabin, putting one part of the structure on 
the claim that the mother decided to take, while the other extended 
upon the land of Finice. In this retreat, far from the world, and 
separate from their former life, whatever it was, they lived quietly 
and happily. The old lady was peculiar, and pleasant stories of her 
sayings and doings went around the neighborhood. In one of these 
it is related how a caller found her in a sad and pensive frame of 
mind, from which his best sallies of wit could not arouse her. At 
length she revealed the cause of her melancholy. ' 'There will be 
war," she said. 

u Ah indeed; why do you think so?" 

u My old hen" she replied "laid an egg with letters on it; and 
there it was as plain as fire <W\ 'O', <R\ War." - 

Whether it was by some such prescience that she named the last 
of her race Finice (finis) does not appear. Her life of omens and 
hard work, and sorrows, whatever they had been, came to an end and 
the State began to afflict her son with a suit to claim her half of the 
donation, on the ground that he was not a legal heir, but the case 
was finally dismissed. Caruthers was a quiet upright man, much 
interested in education, and gave liberally for the erection of the first 
schoolhouse, and performed all his public duties cheerfully. He laid 
off some twenty blocks . on the north side of his claim, calling it 
Caruthers' Addition to Portland. Upon his death there was no will 
and no heirs appeared. While his property was in the hands of an 
administrator, a second addition was laid off and property was sold. 

Various parties in the city seeing the value of the land left by 
Caruthers, formed a company and sent East for an heir. In St. 
Louis there was found a man who went by the name of Thomas, or 
at least was so introduced in Portland, but was more familiarly 
known as " Wrestling Joe." He appeared in Court as heir, 
claiming to be the husband of Elizabeth Caruthers. While he 
was trying to establish his claim, one Dolph Hannah set up a counter 

138 History of Portland. 

claim. The case involving almost endless possibilities, and, by its 
notoriety, inviting the appearance of other sporadic heirs, a company 
was formed to buy Up the rights and the claims of the two contestants. 
Hannah and Thomas were well paid, and the former withdrawing 
left the property with Thomas, who turned it over to the company. 
Their title was confirmed by the Courts, and they proceeded to 
sell off lots and blocks. Upon the appearance of Villard, and the 
formation of the Oregon and Transcontinental Railway Company, 
the stocks of this Caruthers Company was bought for the O. R. & 
N. R. R. , and it was at first proposed to make the terminal works of 
this road on the west side of the river, near the present site of the 
Powers' Manufactory. Maps of the city made at that time show the 
O. R. & N. road crossing the Willamette at Ross Island, and there 
was at first considerable preliminary work done at this place. The 
depot and terminal works were finally located, however, on the east 
side of the river below the city, but the railroad is understood to still 
own what remains -unsold of the original Caru ther's claim — illustrating 
once more how loose property gravitates toward railways. 

The records of the Courts have also teemed with litigation as to 
property on surrounding tracts, as of King, Terwilliger and Balch ; 
while the Holladay case, of more recent years, on the east side, has 
long afforded items for the press. Into the circumstances or merits 
of these, however, it will not be necessary to enter here. 

Growth and Improvements. 139 



Appearance of the City in 1850— The First Brick Building — Brick Buildings 
Erected From 1850 to 1860— List of Buildings in 1855— Portland During the Indian 
War of 1855 and '56 — Rapid Growth in 1862 — Increase in Population and Wealth, 
Improvement and Growth From Year to Year — Present Development and Importance 
of Portland. 

IN this chapter we shall attempt to furnish a record of the improve- 
ments made in the city during consecutive years, giving statistics 
of population, of the various industries, and of the buildings erected. 
While aiming to neglect nothing that is important, we shall try to 
avoid unnecessary or cumbrous details, and while not expecting this 
portion of the work to cover all the facts that might be gathered, we 
hope to make it at least intelligible, and for those who are fond of 
hard statistics, of considerable value. 

In the department of commerce, of transportation, and manufac- 
turing, this chapter will be found but partially filled, since the 
importance of the growth of our shipping, of navigation companies 
and facilities on our river, the building of railroads and the construc- 
tion of manufactories, have been considered of so much interest as to 
require for each a separate chapter. The reader is therefore referred 
elsewhere for a more minute account in these special fields. 

From preceding pages it has already been learned that in 1850 
the town was of the most shabby construction. There were at that 
time no brick buildings and only two or three frame houses which 
presented anything like an architectural appearance. There were 
but two houses which were plastered, that of Mr. Pettygrove on Front 
street, and that of Capt. Crosby on Second street. Carter's store on 
Front street was one of the pretentious buildings of the time, being 
two stories high, but its finishing on the outside was only riven 
weather-boarding. In the matter of hotels and lodging houses the 
accommodations were but of the most primitive character. There 
was the old California house on Front street, and on Jefferson street 
one Dennis Harty kept a small boarding-house. A boarding-house 
by a Mrs. Apperson also accommodated the more staid bachelor 

140 History of Portland. 

population. The old Canton House was built in 1851 by Stephen 
Coffin, a two story structure of fairly decent appearance and of 
respectable finish. It was subsequently turned into the American 
Exchange Hotel and served many years for the purpose of a lodging 
house. It is now standing at the foot of Jefferson street, one of the 
few relics of the early day. 

The substantiality of a town may be inferred from the sort of 
material which its capitalists are willing to put into the walls of its . 
structures. Canvas and battens serve for a mining camp, or for some 
uncertain frontier village. Clapboards and white paint and chimneys 
denote more hope of permanence, while brick and stone and iron 
show that it is not only for the present, but for coming generations 
also, that the city has been established.. Portland was wholly of 
wood until 1853. In this year W. S. Ladd was so far willing to 
bank upon the future as to construct a building of brick. Mr. Lucien 
Snow and D. C. Coleman soon followed his example. Mr. Ladd's 
was that now occupied by Beach & Armstrong; a substantial 
structure of decent appearance and commodious for the transaction 
of business. It has been in constant use up to the present time, and 
while not exactly ornamental or imposing, is not at all discreditable 
to the business portion of the place. Mr. Snow was a Maine man, 
having the thrift and enterprise of New England, and Mr. Coleman 
was a brother ^ of the wealthy merchant of San Francisco of that 

For the following complete list of brick buildings for the decade, 
1850-' 60, we are indebted to Mr. Edward Failing, well known as a 
leading citizen and merchant, whose memory covers the entire period 
and whose interest in our city insures the accuracy of his recollection. 
The estimated cost of the earlier structures is given, and where not 
otherwise specified, but one story may be understood. 

1853— W. S. Ladd, 103 Front street, between Stark and Washington; D. C. Coleman, 
southeast corner Front and Oak (Cost $9500); Lucien Snow, Front street, 
between Pine and Oak; F. B. Miles & Co., southwest corner Front and Pine 
(Cost $13,500). 

1854 — Blumauer Bros., Front street, between Washington and Alder (afterwards 
owned by Cohen & Lyon); J. Kohn & Co., Front street, between Stark and Wash- 
ington, next south of Ladd' s; Geo. L. Story, Front street, between Stark and 

Growth and Improvements. 141 

Washington, next north of Ladd's; P. Raleigh, southwest corner Front and Stark 
(2 stories) ; J. Failing & Co., southeast corner First and Oak, small brick ware- 

1855 — Iv. Snow & Co., one-story brick next north of the store built in 1853. 

1856— Sellers & Friendly, 89 Front street, between Oak and Stark. 

1857— Holman & Harker, Front street, between Morrison and Yamhill; Baum & 
Bro., 87 Front, between Oak and Stark; Benjamin Stark, (3 stories) 91 Front, 
between Oak and Stark; Hallock & McMillen, (2 stories) northwest corner Front 
and Oak; M. Weinshank, 2 stores each one-story, Front street, between Ash and 

1858 — H. W. Corbett, (2 stories) southwest corner Front and Oak; Benj. Stark, (3 
stories) 93 Front street, between Oak and Stark; Allen & Lewis, (2 stories) 
northeast corner Front and B; E.J. Northup, northwest corner Front and Yam- 
hill; A. D. Fitch & Co., next door north of Northrup; Seymour & Joynt, (2 
stories) Front, between Washington and Alder; A. R. Shipley & Co., (2 stories) 
, Front, next south of S. & J.; A. D. Shelby, (2 stories) 105 First, between Wash- 
ington and Alder. 

1859 — Failings & Hatt, (2 stories) 83 Front street, between Oak and Stark; Geo. H. 
Flanders, (2 stories); Old Masonic Hall, southeast corner Front and B; A. D. 
Shelby, (2 stories) 103 First, between Washington and Alder, north of his store 
built in 1858. 

1860 — Harker Bros., (2 stories) next south of Holman & Harker built in 1857; Pat. 
Raleigh, (3 stories) southeast corner First and Stark; H. Wasserman, (2 stories) 
Front, between Washington and Alder; Weil Bros., (2 stories) Front, next south 
of Wasserman; A. D. Shelby, (2 stories) southwest corner First and Washington. 

Elegant residences were built quite early. First among these was 
that of H. W. Corbett, in 1854, on Fifth street, between Yamhill and 
Taylor, which was replaced by a more costly structure in 1876. Mr. 
C. H. Lewis erected an attractive mansion in 1863. Capt. Couch's 
old residence on Fourth street, on the west side of Couch's lake, 
near H street — still remaining — was built still earlier. 

In 1852 the steamboats serving on the river were the Willamette 
owned b3^ the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, on the route to 
Astoria to connect with the ocean steamers of that line, which did not 
at first attempt to ascend to Portland; the Lot Whitcomb, the Mult- 
nomah, the James P. Flint, the Washington and the Eagle, running 
to or connecting with various points on the lower Columbia and 
Willamette. The still older steamers, Columbia, Black Hawk and 
Major Redding were worn out, and their machinery was converted to 
other uses. 

142 History of Portland. 

In 1854 the steam saw mill was destroyed by fire, introducing a 
minus sign before the improvements. But there had been activity since 
1851 in multiplying structures of all kinds, so that when in 1855 a 
census was taken Portland was shown to contain four churches, one 
academy, one public school, one steam flour mill, four steam saw mills, 
four printing offices, two express offices, four physicians' and six 
lawyers' offices, two dentists, five cabinet shops, three bakeries, four 
stove and tin stores, two tailoring establishments, two jewelers, four 
blacksmith shops, one foundry, three wagon-makers, six painters, 
two boat-builders, six livery stables, twelve hotels and boarding- 
houses, three butchers, six saloons, two bowling alleys, one book 
store:, one drug store, one photograph gallery, one shoe store, one 
candy manufacturer and u a few cigar stores. " There were also, 
besides these, twenty-five establishments dealing in dry goods, 
groceries, etc. , together with ten engaged exclusively in dry goods, 
and seven in groceries only. The assessed value of property, both 
real and personal, was one million one hundred and ninety-five 
thousand and thirty-four dollars. 

In 1854 Multnomah county was set off from Washington, being 
granted a separate government, on December 23d of that year. 
This gave our city a little more importance as county seat and was 
greatly to the convenience of our lawyers and the county officials of 
Portland, who had hitherto gone to Hillsboro in Washington county 
on county business and to attend court. 

During 1855 and '56 the Indian war was raging with bloody 
violence upon the frontiers, and carried uncertainty into almost 
every department of business. Portland as a supply point for the 
armies of the territory, which were scattered throughout the Colum- 
bia basin, presented a scene of vast activity. Troops were moving 
to and fro through her streets; a general camp and headquarters were 
made at East Portland; distinguished men, such as Gov. Curry, Gen- 
eral Stevens and General Wool, were frequently seen in the city, 
while our intrepid volunteer Colonels, Nesmith, Kelly and Cornelius, 
either taking out their troops, armed rudely with pistols, knives, 
shot-guns and rifles, and clad and mounted according to their own 
means and taste, or bringing back their worn and battered battalions 

" * J ' :G -Xer>nun.g l C. TSr 

Growth and Improvements. 143 

from tiresome and often unsatisfactory pursuit of the savages, are 
even yet bright in the memory of our people. Such unknown little 
officers as Sheridan could not yet be distinguished from the rest of 
the boys in blue. L,ess was felt at Portland of the war in Southern 
Oregon, where Col. Chapman, Col. Kelsey, Gen. L,imerick, Major 
Bruce and General Ross, with other brave men, were "rounding up" 
and bringing to punishment the oft times wronged, but nevertheless 
wholly untamed and untrustworthy savages of the Umpqua and Rogue 
river. But though this military activity stimulated business to a 
certain extent, it was not a productive or progressive period, and little 
building was done. 

The assessed value of property in 1857 was one million one 
hundred and three thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine dollars. 
It is not to be supposed that there was natural shrinkage of nearly 
two hundred thousand dollars in two years, as the figures would seem 
to show, but merely a lower assessment. Nevertheless, the increase 
in property could not have been very great. The population of this 
year is placed at twelve hundred and eighty. At the election of 1858 
the vote polled was four hundred and sixty. In 1859 the first daily 
paper was issued, The Portland Daily News, published by S. A. 
English & Co. The life of this journal was not of long duration, 
and it was in no way connected with the publication of the same 
name in more recent years. In 1859 there was also erected the first 
really handsome dwelling house. This was the residence of W. S. 
Ladd, built from the model of a house seen by him during his 
travels at the East. It was situated on Jefferson street and Sixth, 
occupying an entire block, and was from the first noticeable for the 
elegance of its appearance, its commanding site and tasteful grounds. 
As improved in 1878, it is one of the most substantial of Portland's 
many beautiful residences. 

In 1860 The Oregon Times became a daily, and The Oregonian 
in 1861. 

By the school enrollment of 1860 it was found that the children 
of school age numbered six hundred and ninety-one. The total 
population was two thousand nine hundred and seventeen, of which 
there were sixteen colored and twenty-seven Chinese. The great flood 


144 History of Portland. 

of the Willamette in 1861, the highest on record until that of 1890, did 
some damage to wharves and other buildings along the city front, but 
occasioned no serious loss. The asylum for the insane was established 
during the summer of this year on the west side of the river, under 
the management of Drs. Hawthorne and L,oryea. A few years later 
it was removed to a beautiful site in East Portland, where it remained 
until the destruction of the building by fire a number of years 

In June of 1862 — the second result of the heavy snow fall 
of the winter before — the Willamette rose to a great height from 
the flood in the Columbia, inundating the lower part of the town, 
but doing but little real damage. In 1861-62 the assessed valuation 
of property was two millions eighty-nine thousand and four hundred 
and twenty dollars. 

Discovery of mines in Idaho and Eastern Oregon greatly stimulated 
navigation on the Willamette and Columbia, and as many as twenty 
steamers were plying in 1862 on these rivers. In that year the 
population, as determined by the city directory, rose to four thousand 
and fifty -seven. Of these, seven hundred are reckoned as transient, 
fifty-two colored, and fifty-three Chinese. The Oregonian of that 
year remarked that the increase in wealth and population had been 
of the most substantial character. u Eighteen months ago," it said, 
i 'any number of houses could be obtained for use, but to-day scarcely 
a shell can be found to shelter a family. Rents are up to an 
exhorbitant figure, many houses contain two or more families, and 
the hotels and boarding-houses are crowded almost to overflowing. 
The town is full of people and more are coming in. Buildings are 
going up in all parts of Portland, streets graded and planked, wharves 
stretching their proportions along the levees, and a general thrift and 
busy hum greet the ear, or attract the attention of a stranger upon 
every street and corner. " "Substantial school-houses, capacious 
churches, wharves, mills, manufactories and workshops, together 
with brick buildings stores and dwelling houses and street improve- 
ments, " are referred to in the city directory. As for occupations 
the following list is given: Three apothecaries, four auctioneers, three 
brewers, two bankers; six billiard rooms, two confectioners, five 

Growth and Improvements. 145 

dentists, twelve restaurants, fourteen hotels, twenty-two lawyers, five 
livery stables, twenty-eight manufacturers, eleven physicians, eight 
wholesale and fifty-five retail liquor dealers, forty-five wholesale and 
ninety-one retail dealers in general merchandise, two wholesale and 
eight retail grocers. 

During 1863 a long step toward improvement was the organiza- 
tion of the Portland and Milwaukie macadamized road, with A % B. 
Richardson as president, Henry Failing secretary, and W. S. Ladd 
treasurer af the Board of Directors. The shipping lists of the 
steamers show large exports of treasure, one hundred thousand 
dollars, two hundred and forty thousand dollars, and even seven 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars being reported for single steamers. 
Six thousand to seven thousand boxes of apples were also reported at 
a single shipment. The old side wheel river steamer John H. 
Couch for many years so familiar a figure on the lower 
Columbia, was launched this year. The principal building 
was that of the Presbyterian church, at the corner of Third and 
Washington streets. The laying of the corner stone was observed 
with due ceremony, Rev. P. S. Caffrey officiating, assisted by Reverends 
Pearne and Cornelius. A new school-house of the congregation 
of Beth Israel, was opened this year. The arrival of thirty-six 
thousand pounds of wire for the Oregon and California telegraph 
line showed the interest in telegraphic communication with the 
outside world. The assessed valuation of property was* three 
million two hundred and twenty-six thousand two hundred and 
sixty dollars. The day of independence was observed with great 
ceremony this year, the United States Military Department, under 
Brigadier General Alvord, from Vancouver, and the Fire Department 
and other societies of Portland uniting their efforts to make an 
imposing parade, while the evening was made resplendent with 
fireworks. To the country people who thronged the city this was 
new and imposing, and the imagination of none had yet extended to 
so lofty a flight as the illumination of the snow-capped mountains, as 
in recent years, to close the display. A spirited address by Hon. 
Amory Holbrook, in a time when the scream of the eagle meant 
something more than lifeless platitudes, added to the inspiration of 

146 History of Portland. 

the hour. The capitulation of Vicksburg was also celebrated a short 
time afterwards by a torchlight procession. There was no lack of 
patriotism in those days. 

In 1864 much expansion was noticed. Grading and draining of 
the streets was largely undertaken. The Presbyterian church was 
finished at a cost of twenty thousand dollars and was called the finest 
structure in the State. The Catholic church was improved to an 
extent of two thousand dollars. J. L,. Parrish erected a three-story 
brick building, fifty by one hundred feet, on the corner of Front and 
Washington streets. A house was built by the city for the Columbia 
Engine Company No. 3, on Washington street, at a cost of six 
thousand dollars. The lot cost two thousand dollars. Two new 
hotels, the What Cheer House and the new Columbian, were built, 
and older ones such as Arrigoni's, the Western, the Howard House, 
the Pioneer and Temperance House were improved. A considerable 
number of stores and dwelling houses were also put up. The greatest 
improvement, however, was the O. S. N. Company's dock on the water 
front between Pine and Ash streets. It was necessitated by the 
increasing traffic with Idaho and the upper Columbia. There was 
not hitherto a dock to accomodate vessels at all stages of the water. 
This new wharf was accordingly built with two stories, the upper 
being fifteen feet above the other. The lower wharf was two hun- 
dred and fifty feet long by one hundred and sixty wide; the upper, 
two hundred by one hundred and twenty, thus occupying the entire 
front of one block. For this work there were used sixty thousand 
feet of piles and timber, five hundred thousand feet of sawed plank, 
fifty tons of iron, two hundred and twenty-five thousand shingles, 
two thousand eight hundred perch of rock, and six hundred barrels 
of cement. The work was completed from plans of J. W. Brazee 
and supervised by John D' Orsay. The cost was fifty thousand dollars. 
The wharf and buildings of Couch and Flanders, in the northern part 
of the city were improved, bringing their value up to forty 
thousand dollars. The river front was not then as now a continuous 
series of docks, and these structures made an even more striking 
appearance than later ones far more pretentious and valuable. In 
order to prevent delay and vexation in the arrival of ocean vessels, a 

Growth and Improvements. 147 

call was made for money to deepen the channel of the lower Willam- 
ette, and was met by double the sum named. The improvements 
were soon undertaken with great vigor. Five thousand dollars were 
spent in grading and improving the public square between 
Third and Fourth streets on Main. With the general leveling of 
the irregularities of the surface of the city and the removal of stumps 
more effort was made to adorn the streets and door yards with trees 
and shrubbery, and to make handsome lawns. The surroundings of 
the city were, however, still wild, and the shattered forests seemed 
excessively rude, having no more the grace and stateliness of nature, 
and having not yet given away altogether to the reign of, art. 

The population was now five thousand eight hundred and 
nineteen; there were one thousand and seventy-eight frame buildings, 
fifteen one-story, thirty-seven two-story and seven three-story brick 
buildings — one thousand one hundred and thirty-seven of all kinds. 

There were seven wharves in the city; Abernethy's, at the foot of 
Yamhill street; Carter's, at the foot of Alder; Knott's, on Water 
between Taylor and Salmon; Pioneer at the foot of Washington, owned 
by Coffin & Abrams; Vaughn's, at the foot of Morrison; the O. S. 
N. wharf, between Ash and Pine streets, and the Portland wharf of 
Couch & Flanders, in North Portland, at the foot of C and D. 

There were thirty-eight dealers in dry goods and general 
merchandise, thirteen grocers, ten meat markets, four dealers in 
produce and provisions, three drug stores, fifteen physicians, four 
dentists, twenty-eight attorneys, three book-sellers, thirteen hotels. 

The hotels were for the most part on Front street, showing the 
as yet comparative cheapness of land along this thoroughfare. There 
were the Mansion House, ] at 143 Front street; the Farmer's House, 
169 Front street; What Cheer House, 126, 128 and 130 Front 
street; The Union Hotel, 131 Front street; The Shakspeare House, 
25 Front street; The Franklin House on Front near Vine; The 
Howard House, No. 5 North Front; The New York Hotel, No. 17 
North Front; the Pioneer and Temperance House on the corner of 
Front and Washington; The Western Hotel, at 13 and 15 Morrison 
street: the Miner's Home, at the corner of First and Taylor. 
1 Old numbers. 

148 History of Portland. 

As dealers in hardware may be named J. R. Foster & Co. , E. J. 
Northrup and G. W. Vaughn, doing business between Taylor and 
Salmon, on Front street, and H. W. Corbett and Henry Failing at 
the present site of the business of Corbett, Failing & Co. , on Front, 
at the corner of Oak. There were also three houses engaged in 
the furniture business — L,owenstein & Co., at 138 First street; Hur- 
gren & Shindler, at 97 First street, and W. F. Wilcox, at 207 
Front street. The real estate agents, now omnipresent and legion, 
were represented by the single firm of Parrish & Holman. Plumbers 
were represented by a single name, C. H. Myers, 110 First street. 
Hatters had but one name, A. J. Butler at 72 Front street, while 
saddlers had four, J. B. Congle, 88 Front street; H. Kingsley & Reese, 
100 First street; Wm. Kern, 228 Front street, and S.Sherlock & Co. 52 
Front street. There were as many as eight livery stables — those of 
Bennett & White, at 116 Second street; M. Patton, on Salmon near 
Front; R. E. Wiley, corner First and Taylor; Sherry Ross, 165 
First street; N. Gray, on Front near Clay; W. R. Hill, on the corner 
of Front and Market; R. J. Ladd, at 31 Washington, and L. P. W. 
Quimby, at 63 Second street. There seems to have been a demand 
for transfer business and numbers of draymen or companies had a 
license for express work. Many of them, however, were simply 
delivery wagons. There were forty-six places for the sale of liquor. 
The photographers were W. W. Davis, at 99 First street; Hack & 
Dobson, at 107^ Front street; B. H. Hendee, at the corner of 
Washington and Front, and A. B. Woodard & Co. , at No. 5 
Morrison street. The printers had three firms, R. D. Austin, at 27 
Washington street; William D. Carter, at 73 Front street, and A. G. 
Walling, at No. 5 Washington street. S. J. McCormick published 
the Oregon Almanac, 105 Front street; H. Iy. Pittock, The Oregonian, 
at No. 5 Washington. The PaciBc Christian Advocate was published 
at No. 5. Washington by the Methodist Church, and the Evening 
Tribune at 27 Washington street by VanCleave & Ward. 

There were salt depots on Front street, a soap factory operated by 
W. L,. Higgins, on Front street near Clay, and a turpentine manufactory 
by T. A. Wood & Co. , near the same site. Carson & Porter, at 208 
Front street, and J. P. Walker, at 230 Front Street, foot of Jefferson 
operated sash and door factories. 

Growth and Improvements. 149 

The total exports of 1864 reached eight millions seventy-nine 
thousand six hundred and thirty-one dollars. It is to be remembered, 
however, that the most of this was gold dust from Idaho, and the 
price of produce was far in excess of that at present. 

During 1865 a steady forward movement was felt. Some of the 
streets were macadamized, and some were laid with Nicholson pave- 
ment. A factory for furnishing staves, heads and hoops ready to be 
set up into barrels, for the Sandwich Island trade, was established in 
North Portland. The court house on Fourth and Salmon streets, a 
handsome building of somewhat massive proportions, two stories in 
height with dome, and built of brick and stone, was erected at a cost 
of seventy-five thousand dollars. A public school-house was erected 
on Harrison street, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The old 
Central public school on Sixth street, between Morrison and Yamhill, 
was until this time the only building to accommodate the thousand 
or more children of school age. There were, however, other 
educational institutions in the city; as St. Mary's Academy, on 
Fourth street, between Mill and Market, with an attendance of one 
hundred and fifty pupils; St. Joseph's day school, at the corner of 
Third and Oak streets, with one hundred pupils; Portland Academy 
and Female Seminary, on Seventh street, between Jefferson and 
Columbia, having one hundred and fifty pupils; the Beth Israel 
school, at the corner of Sixth and Oak with sixty-five pupils; a private 
school by Miss M. A. Hodgson, a lady of culture from Massachusetts 
and now long known as an educator in our State, and a Commercial 
Academy in the Parrish building on Front street. For a further and 
fully connected acconnt of schools from the first the reader is referred 
to the special chapter on schools. 

Of brick buildings made in 1865, Cahn & Co's, at 37 Front 
street, extending to First; Wilberg's two-story building on Front 
street; MofFett's on Front, and that of Wakefield, Glenn and 
others on Front, were the most prominent and represented a 
considerable outlay of money. Cree's building at the corner of 
Stark and Front, built in 1862, may be mentioned, A broom 
factory, a match factory, the Willamette Iron Works, and the First 
National Bank were established this year. To these may be added 

150 History of Portland. 

Vaughn's flour mill on Front and Main streets, an expensive and 
imposing building, costing about fifty thousand dollars. About 
thirty-five thousand dollars was spent on street improvements. 

The total value of exports was seven millions six hundred and 
six thousand five hundred and twenty-four dollars, the most of it 
being gold dust. To form commercial communication with San 
Francisco, there were two lines of ocean steamers, one running the 
Sierra Nevada and the Oregon, and the other the Orizaba and the 
Pacific. Of these the Orizaba was the largest, registering fourteen 
hundred tons. To Victoria the Active was run under the command 
of Captain Thorn. There were sailing vessels also to San Francisco, 
some of which were later run to the Sandwich Islands. These were the 
bark Jkae A. Falkenberg, of six hundred tons; the bark H. W. Almy 
of six hundred tons; the bark Almatia y of seven hundred tons; the 
bark W. B. Scranton, of seven hundred tons; the bark, Samuel 
Merrit, of five hundred and fifty tons; the bark Live Yankee, of 
seven hundred tons. To the Sandwich Islands, also, there were then 
running the barks A. A. Aldridge, of four hundred tons, and the 
Comet, seven hundred tons. 

Of the steamboat lines on the river there were now in operation 
the following three: The Oregon Steam Navigation Company, 
running to Astoria the/. H. Couch, with fare at $6.00 and the freight 
at $6.00 per ton; to Monticello, the Cowlitz or the Rescue, fare $3.00 
and freight $4.00; to the Dalles, the New World, Wilson G. Hunt, 
the Cascade, Julia, Oneonta, Idaho and Iris, with fare at $6.00 and 
freight at $15'; above the Dalles, the steamers Owyhee, Spray, Okan- 
agon, Webfoot, Yakima, Tenino and Nez Perces Chief, with fare to 
Lewiston at $22.00 and freight at $60.00 per ton. These were the 
palmy days of river travel, the steamers being crowded and a small 
fortune being made at every trip. The People's Transportation 
Company confined itself to the Willamette and ran the Senator and 
Rival below Oregon City and the Fanny Patton and others above 
the falls. The independent steamer Fanny Troup ran to Vancouver, 
and on the Willamette above Canemah there were the Union and the 
Echo. The Willamette Steam Navigation Company, still another line, 
ran the Alert and the Active on the Willamette. These Willamette 

Growth and Improvements. 151 

crafts, having no competition from railroads, also did a fair business. 
The population of Portland in 1865 was six thousand and sixty- 
eight. The occupations represented are illustrated by the following 
list: Of apothecaries, four; architects and civil engineers, four; 
assay ers, three; auctioneers, three; bankers, four; billiard rooms, six; 
bakers, two; contractors and builders, seven; brokers, eight; butchers, 
seventeen; dentists, three; restaurants, five; hotels, sixteen; 
insurance agents, three; lawyers, twenty-three; livery stables, seven; 
manufactures, sixty-three; photographers, five; physicians and 
surgeons, fifteen; plumbers, two; real estate agents, three; retail 
dealers in merchandise, one hundred and thirty-three; retail 
liquor dealers, one hundred and five; theatre, one; wholesale 
merchants, thirty-nine; wholesale liquor dealers, twelve. There 
was assayed gold dust valued at two million nine hundred and thirty- 
four thousand one hundred and sixty-seven dollars. These are the 
figures of a busy little city. The number of voters was one thousand 
seven hundred and twenty-three. 

During 1866 numerous brick buildings were erected, the most 
prominent among them being the block of the O. S. N. Co. , adjacent 
to their wharf at the foot of Pine and Ash streets, and the structure 
of Charles M. Carter on First and Alder streets. By the Oregon 
Herald the latter was called one of the finest buildings in the State 
and equal to the elegant buildings of San Francisco. 

From the foundation to the top of the fire wall it measured 
eighty-one feet and was three stories in height; the cost was fifty 
thousand dollars and the finish was elegant. This building was 
destroyed by fire in December, 1872. The Court House was finished 
in 1866. A correspondent of the San Francisco Bulletin, whose 
grace and humor of style as a newspaper writer would hardly betray 
his devotion to the knotty problems of applied law, writes of a view 
from the cupola of this building. After describing the scenery of 
the mountains and lands surrounding, he says: " But to return to 
Portland. On every side of me I saw its varied and sometimes 
motley structures of wood and brick, densely packed together, and 
edging out toward the limits of the natural site of the city — a green 
semi-circle of irregular shaped fir clad hills, on the west and south, 

152 History of Portland. 

and the water of the bright Willamette, curving outwardly from the 
north to the south. A radius of a mile from where I stood would 
not more than reach the verge of the town. Across the Willamette, 
and upon its east bank, I could count the houses and orchards in the 
suburban village of East Portland. This place is yet half town and 
half country, but it is destined at ,no distant day to furnish an 
abundance of cheap and comfortable homes to the thrifty and 
industrious artisans and laborers whose hands are daily turning this 
raw clay and growing timber into temples and habitations for 
civilized man. ' ' 

It was in 1866, also, that the Oregon Iron Company's Works 
were begun at Oswego, with a capacity of ten tons per twenty-four 
hours. W. S. Iyadd was president and H. C. Leonard vice-president 
of the company. 

The assessed value of property was four million one hundred and 
ninety-nine thousand one hundred and twenty-five dollars. The 
export of produce reached the following figures: Flour, one hundred 
and forty-nine thousand and seventy-five dollars; salmon, twenty-one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety-four dollars; bacon, seventy 
thousand and sixteen dollars; apples, sixty-eight thousand eight 
hundred and sixty dollars; wool, sixty-six thousand eight hundred 
and forty dollars; making an aggregate of four hundred and fifty-five 
thousand four hundred and fifty-seven dollars. The shipment of 
gold dust, bars, etc. , reached the large sum of eight million seventy 
thousand and six hundred dollars, which, it is possible, was an over 

The screw steamship Montana and the side-wheeler Ori£amme 
appeared on the line to San Francisco, and the little screw steamer 
Fideliter to Victoria. The population was six thousand five hundred 
and eight, of whom three hundred and twenty-four were Chinese. 

During 1867 there began in earnest agitation for a railroad 
through the Willamette Valley to Portland, a full account of which 
appears elsewhere. Propositions were made by the newly-formed 
railroad companies that the city guarantee interest on bonds to the 
value of one million dollars, and a committee appointed by the City 
Council made a favorable report, setting forth the advantage to the 

Growth and Improvements. 153 

farmers and the country towns of cheap transportation to the seaport 
and the reciprocal advantage to the city from increased trade and 
commerce. The movements of the time, of which this was a sign, 
stimulated building and the sale of real estate. The Methodist 
Church erected on the corner of Third and Taylor streets, a brick 
edifice in the English Gothic style with ground dimensions fifty-six 
by eighty-two feet. It was to have a seating capacity of twelve 
hundred and supported a tower with a spire reaching a hundred and 
fifty feet above the ground. It cost thirty thousand dollars. A school 
house, with a main part fifty -six by eighty feet and two wings, each 
twelve by forty feet, was built for the North Portland School, 
between C and D streets. The Bank of British Columbia erected a 
substantial building on Front street. • Brick stores were constructed 
by Dr. E. Poppleton and others on First street. The Unitarian 
Church erected an edifice, the tenth church building in the city, on 
Seventh and Yamhill streets. 

Exports of produce and merchandise reached the value of two 
million four hundred and sixty-two thousand seven hundred and 
ninety-three dollars. The great apparent increase over 1866 was 
due in part to a more perfect record kept, but also to actual improve- 
ment. The shipment of gold dust fell to four million and one 
thousand dollars. The screw steamships Ajax and Continental 
appeared on the San Francisco line — the Pacific and Orizaba having 
been drawn off and the Brother Jonathan wrecked some time before. 
The river was much improved at Swan Island. The population of 
the city for this year was estimated at six thousand seven hundred 
and seventeen. 

In 1868 the railroad company began work, the west side breaking 
ground April 15th and the east side two days later. During this 
year also an independent commerce sprang up with New York, and 
the way was opened for direct export of grain to Europe. The iron 
works of the city began to command the trade in the supply of 
mining machinery for the Idaho and Eastern Oregon companies. 
The sawmill of Smith, Hay den & Co. , on the corner of Front and 
Madison streets, was improved so as to cut twenty-four thousand feet 
of lumber per day, and that of Estes, Simpson & Co., on Front 

154 History of Portland. 

Street, was enlarged to a capacity of twenty thousand feet. The 
handsomest building of this year was that of I^add & Tilton, for the 
Oregon Bank, at the corner of First and Stark streets. It occupied 
an entire lot fifty by one hundred feet, and was built in two stories 
upon a basement seven feet in height. The material of its construction 
was brick, with ornamental iron work, and the pilasters on Doric 
bases with Corinthian capitals. Upon the interior it was finished 
with lavish elegance, and the whole cost of the structure was about 
seventy thousand dollars. 

On the corner of Front and Morrison streets was built a four 
story brick structure by R. D. White. This was originally intended 
as partly a business house and partly as a hotel, but has now been 
converted wholly to the latter use. Buildings of brick were erected 
on Front street by Moffit & Strowbridge, and A. P. Ankeny and 
others; and on First street by Goodnough & Holmes and Goldsmith 
Bros. A fire-proof brick building for a sash and door factory was 
built by Mr. John P. Walker, to replace a wooden structure which 
had previously served the purpose, but had now been destroyed by 
fire. Over four hundred dwelling houses were erected, " And yet, " 
says The Oregonian, ' 'you will find that there are no desirable houses 
to rent. The great and increasing growth and improvement of our 
city is no chimera." Indeed, during this year Portland was 
experiencing one of those waves of prosperity by which she has been 
advancing to her present eminence. 

The exports of the year reached a value of two million seven 
hundred and eighty thousand four hundred and eight dollars, 
requiring the services of nine steamers and thirty sailing vessels. 
The assessed value of property was four million six hundred thousand 
seven hundred and sixty dollars. Real estate transactions reached a 
volume of one hundred and forty-three thousand eight hundred and 
forty -six dollars. The price paid for the lot on the corner of First 
and Alder streets by the Odd Fellows was twenty-two thousand five 
hundred dollars. The shipments of treasure and bullion were three 
million six hundred and seventy-seven thousand eight hundred and 
fifty dollars. The population was seven thousand nine hundred and 

' //y ^ifm m s & p. 

Growth and Improvements. 155 

In 1869 an Immigration Exchange was formed, by which infor- 
mation as to the resources and opportunities of Oregon was 
disseminated abroad, and employment was found for laborers. In 
the line of buildings there were erected seven of brick, aggregating a 
cost of $172,000, and twelve large frame buildings costing altogether 
$58,000; while many smaller ones were built, making a total of 
about $400,000. The most conspicuous of these was the Odd 
Fellows' building at the corner of First and Alder streets, three 
stories in height, and costing $40,000; the United States building 
for Court House, Customs House and Post Office were begun on a 
scale to cost three hundred thousand dollars. The reservoir of the 
Water Works Company on Sixth street, with a capacity of three 
million five hundred thousand gallons, was built this year. On the 
improvement of the Willamette there was spent thirty-one thousand 
dollars. Exports reached one million sixty-six thousand five 
hundred and two dollars; treasure, two million five hundred and 
fifty-nine thousand dollars; and bullion, four hundred and nineteen 
thousand six hundred and fifty-seven dollars. Real estate transactions 
were upward of half a million. The population of Portland proper 
was estimated at eight thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight, and 
of East Portland, five hundred. 

In 1870 the steady growth which from the first had been a fairly 
reliable index of the growth of the northwest coast, began some- 
what to accelerate. The railroad on the east side of the river was 
completed to Albany, and work on the west side was progressing. 
The shipping of grain to Great Britain was becoming more firmly 
established. A greater spirit of enterprise was manifested among 
merchants and other citizens to publish abroad the advantages of soil 
and climate and position. A number of fine buildings were erected 
as follows: Corbett's three-s.tory brick building, with solid iron 
front on First street, between Washington and Alder, costing forty 
thousand dollars; a brick block, of four buildings occupying a 
frontage of one hundred feet on Front street, and running back eighty 
feet, of iron front, costing thirty thousand dollars, built by Lewis & 
Flanders; a four story brick building, having one hundred feet 
frontage on First street and eighty feet on Ash, at a cost of thirty-two 

156 History of Portland. 

thousand dollars, by Dr. R. Glisan; the largest business block yet 
erected, built by A. P. Ankeny, with frontage of one hundred feet 
on First street, and running two hundred feet to Front street, costing 
fifty thousand dollars; an addition by the O. S. N. Co., to their block 
on Front street, forty by ninety feet, costing twenty thousand dollars; 
the Protection Engine House at the corner of First and Jefferson 
streets, twenty-six by seventy feet, costing ten thousand dollars; a 
new edifice by the Congregational church, at the corner of Second 
and Jefferson streets, fifty by eighty feet, with spire one hundred and 
fifty high, costing twenty-five thousand dollars; the Bishop Scott 
Grammar School building on B street, at the junction of Fourteenth, 
thirty by ninety feet of three stories, and occupying a superb site. 
Many smaller buildings were erected this season. 

As 1870 fills out a decade, it is not out of place to give here a 
somewhat more detailed list of the occupations then flourishing in 
the city. Of hotels there were twenty-two: The St. Charles, at the 
corner of First and Morrison; The International, at the corner of 
Front and Morrison; the American Exchange, at the corner of Front 
and Washington; the Occidental, at the corner of First and Morrison; 
The Western Hotel, on Front near Pine; the Pioneer Hotel, on 
Front near Ash; The Shakspeare Hotel, at 23 Front street; 
the Washington Hotel, corner of Alder and Second; the New 
Orleans Hotel, at the corner of Yamhill and First; the Wisconsin 
House, at the corner of Ash and Front; the Russ House, at 126 
Front street; the Railroad House, on Front near Yamhill; the St. 
Ivouis Hotel, on Front street; the New York Hotel, at 17 North 
Front; the Patton House, at No. 175 Front street; the Fisk House, 
on First near Main ; the Cosmopolitan, at the corner of Front and 
Stark; the California House, at 13 Stark street; the Brooklyn Hotel, 
on First street near Pine. There were also twelve boarding houses 
and nine restaurants. Real estate agents now numbered six houses; 
J. S. Daly, Dean & Bro., William Davidson, Parrish & Atkinson, 
Russell & Ferry, Stitzel & Upton. The wholesale merchants con- 
tained many names in active business; Allen & Lewis, Baum Bros., 
Fleischner & Co. , Jacob Meyer, L,. White & Co. , Seller, Frankeneau 
& Co. , and Goldsmith & Co. Of retail merchants of that time there 

Growth and Improvements. 157 

may be named C. S. Silver, S. Simon, A. Meier, D. Metzgar, W. 
Masters & Son, John Wilson, M. Moskowitz, P. Selling, Loeb Bros., 
Koshland Bros,, Van Fridagh & Co., S. Levy, Mrs. C. Levy, Kohn 
Bros., Galland, Goodman & Co., Joseph Harris & Son, J. M. Breck, 
M. Franklin, J. M. Fryer & Co., Beck & Waldman, Clarke, Hender- 
son & Cook, Leon Ach, and John Enery. In groceries and provisions 
there were the wholesale merchants Amos, Williams & Myers; 
Leveredge, Wadhams & Co., and Corbitt & Macleay;and thirty-three 
retailers. In hardware, Corbett, Failing & Co., Hawley, 
Dodd & Co., E. J. Northrup & Co., and Charles Hopkins. 
The druggists were J. A. Chapman, Hodge, Calef & Co., 
Smith & Davis, C. H. Woodward, S. G. Skidmore, and Whetherford 
& Co. George L. Story made a specialty of paints and oils. There 
were nine houses of commission merchants: Allen & Lewis, 
McCraken, Merrill & Co., Knapp, Burrell & Co., Everding & 
Farrell, George Abernethy, Williams & Meyers, Everding & 
Beebe, Janion & Rhoades, and T. A. Savier & Co. The lumber 
manufacturers and merchants were Abrams & Besser, Smith Bros. 
& Co., J. M. Ritchie, and Estes, Stinston & Co. The 
foundries were the Eagle, the Oregon Iron Works, the Willamette 
Iron Works, Smith Bros. Iron Works and the Columbia Iron Works. 
The furniture dealers were Hurgren & Shindler, Emil, Lowenstein & 
Co. , W. F. Wilcox, and Richter & Co. Hat manufacturers were J. 
C. Meussdorfer, N. Walker, and Currier & Co. The flour mills, that 
of G. W. Vaughn and McLeran Bros. The physicians were R. 
Glisan, J. S. Giltner, J. A. Chapman, J. C. Hawthorn, A. M. Loryea, 
W. H. Watkins, R. B. Wilson, G. Kellogg, J. W. Murray, E. 
Poppleton, J. A. Chapman, I. A. Davenport, H. A. Bodman, S. 
Parker, F. C. Paine, J. C. Ryan, F. W. Schule, Robert Patton, J. 
M. Roland, J. F. Ghiselin, H. McKinnell, Charles Schumacher, G. 
W. Brown, T. J. Sloan, W. Weatherford, and J. Dickson. 

For the attorneys of this as well as other years the reader is 
referred to the special article on the legal profession. The printers 
were G. H. Himes and A. G. Walling. The publications were The 
Oregonian, which issued daily and weekly editions and was published 
by H. U Pittock with H. W. Scott as editor; The Bulletin, James 

158 History of Portland. 

O'Meara editor; the Oregon Herald, H. L,. Patterson proprietor and 
Sylvester Pennoyer editor; the Pacific Christian Advocate, I. Dillon 
editor; the Catholic Sentinel, H. L. Herman editor; the Oregon 
Deutshe Zeitung, A. Le Grand editor, and the Good Templar with 
C. Beal as editor. The Oregon Almanac and city directory were 
regularly issued by S. J. McCormick. 

The saddlers were J. B. Congle, Samuel Sherlock & Co., N. 
Thwing, and Welch & Morgan. The leather dealers J. A. Strow- 
bridge and Daniel O. O' Reagan. The dentists were J. R. Card well, 
C. H. Mack, J. G. Glenn, J. H. Hatch, J. W. Dodge, William 
Koehler, and Friedland & Calder. In the crockery and glassware 
trade there were W. Jackson, H. W. Monnastes, A. D. Shelby, M. 
Seller, and J. McHenry. 

There were eighty retail liquor saloons and seven wholesale 
dealers in liquors; there were nine livery stables, thirteen meat 
markets, four photograph galleries, twenty cigar and tobacco dealers, 
six breweries, five bakeries, two brickyards," four banks, fourteen 
printers, one match factory, one soap factory, one salt works, one 
barrel factory, two box factories, twenty-one dressmakers, five dealers 
in Chinese goods, two book binderies, one tannery, five wagon 
makers, six blacksmith shops, five bakeries, two express companies, 
three railroad companies, five merchant tailors, two telegraph offices, 
thirteen licensed draymen and two undertakers, besides a number of 
other occupations such as auctioneer and wigmaker. 

These statistics show Portland to have been twenty years ago a 
thriving cosmopolitan little city, with business much diversified and 
doing a heavy business. As indicating the religious growth of the 
place it may be said that there were now fifteen churches, a full 
account of which is found elsewhere. 

The assessed value of property in the city was six million eight 
hundred and forty-eight thousand five hundred and sixty-eight dollars ; 
about half of its purchasing value. The population was estimated 
at nine thousand five hundred and sixty-five. 

In 1871 the improvements continued, the amount spent on 
buildings being estimated at one million two hundred and eighty-six 
thousand dollars. Commenting upon this at the time, The Oregonian 

Growth and Improvements. 159 

said : ' ' Many of these buildings are costly and of handsome and 
imposing appearance. We doubt if any city on the Pacific Coast can 
show anything like a parallel. The exhibit proves conclusively and 
in the most appreciable manner the rapid strides of our city towards 
wealth and greatness. * * * Every house is occupied as soon as 
finished, and not infrequently houses are bespoken before the ground 
is broken for their erection. * * * Rents are justly pronounced 
enormous. ' ' 

The finest buildings of this year were the New Market Theatre 
of A. P. Ankeny, sixty by two hundred feet, on First and A streets 
extending to Second, and the Masonic Hall on Third and Alder, of 
three stories and a Mansard roof, still a very prominent bulding, and 
finished in the Corinthian style. 

The number of steamers registering in the Willamette District 
were thirty-one; of barks, one; brigs, six; schooners, two; scows, 
two; sloops, four. The total exports — exclusive of goods re-exported 
— reached a value of six hundred and ninety-two thousand 
two hundred and ninety-seven dollars. The total value oi 
property assessed was ten million one hundred and fifty-six 
thousand three hundred and twenty dollars, with an indebtedness of 
one million one hundred and ten thousand one hundred and five 
dollars. The population as estimated reached eleven thousand one 
hundred and three. 

In 1872 Ankeny* s New Market Theatre was completed at a cost 
of one hundred thousand dollars, and the Masonic Temple at eighty 
thousand dollars. A Good Templars' Hall was built on Third street 
costing ten thousand dollars. The Clarendon Hotel was built on 
North First street near the railroad depot. Smith's block, a row of 
warehouses between First and Front streets and Ash and Oak, was 
built this year, at a cost of fifty thousand dollars. Pittock's block 
on Front near Stark was completed at a cost of twenty thousand 
dollars. A house for a Central school was erected, sixty by one 
hundred and twenty feet, costing thirty thousand dollars ; work on the 
Government building on Fifth and Morrison streets was continued. 
Trinity Church erected a house of worship on the corner of Sixth 

and Oak streets, at a cbst of twenty-five thousand dollars. Dekum's 


160 History of Portland. 

building on the corner of First and Washington streets, of three 
stories, and still one of the prominent buildings, costing seventy 
thousand dollars, was begun in 1871 and completed in '72. The 
hack and dray company erected new stables on G street, between 
Fifth and Sixth, one hundred by seventy-five feet, costing five 
thousand dollars. The wharves of the O. S. N. Co. were extended 
and improved. The Home for the Destitute was also built this year. 

In the line of shipping there were five ocean steamers plying to 
San Francisco: The John L. Stephens, an old-fashioned side- wheeler, 
being the largest, carrying one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven 
tons. Coastwise tonnage aggregated one hundred and nine thousand 
nine hundred and forty-nine tons ; in the foreign trade there were eight- 
een thousand nine hundred and forty-four tons. From foreign countries 
there arrived twelve barks and two ships, with a total capacity of 
nine thousand four hundred and forty tons. Imports — that is 
strictly from foreign countries — were seven hundred and twenty-eight 
thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars ; exports to foreign 
countries six hundred and fifty-eight thousand and six hundred and 
fourteen dollars. The west side railroad was running to the Yamhill 
river at St. Joseph, and the east side to Roseburg in the Umpqua 
valley. Large fires occurred in 1872 making a total loss of three 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The population was estimated 
at twelve thousand one hundred and twenty-nine. 

In August, 1873, a great fire occurred, burning twenty blocks 
along the river front south of Yamhill and a part of Morrison street. 
It destroyed property to the value of one million three hundred and 
forty-five thousand dollars, on which there was an insurance of but 
two hundred and seventy dollars. An account of this conflagration 
is given elsewhere in this book. Immediate steps were taken to build 
up once more the burnt district, and many structures were erected to 
replace those lost. A brick market building two hundred feet from 
Front to First at the corner of Madison, was built by B. V. Bunnell 
and other parties as stockholders. Johnson & Spaulding, G. W. 
Vaughn, J. M. Fryer, Quimby & Perkins and others, built good 
structures on Front and First streets. H. W. Corbett, C. M. Carter 
C. Holman, C. M. Wiberg, J. P. O. Lownsdafe, M. S. Burrell, and 

Growth and Improvements. 161 

Elijah Corbett, interested themselves in rebuilding the waste places. 
The house of Protection Engine Company, on First street near 
Madison, was at the time allotted a good building. 

In the northern part of the city a fine building was erected on 
First and A streets, by A. P. Ankeny. Further north the bonded 
warehouses and a number of brick stores were built. In this year 
also the elegant residence of Mr. Henry Failing was erected. 

In the line of commerce the coastwise entrances reached a tonnage 
of one hundred and twelve thonsand and one hundred; of foreign 
entrances, nineteen thousand one hundred and forty-three tons. 
American vessels for foreign ports aggregated nineteen thousand four 
hundred and forty-four tons clearances. The exports, a value of one 
million two hundred and eighty-four thousand one hundred and 
forty-nine dollars, exclusive of shipments by way of San Francisco. 
The , property was assessed at ten million eight hundred and four 
thousand six hundred and sixty-two. The population was estimated 
at twelve thousand nine hundred and fifty -nine. 

For the shipping season of 1873-74 there was exported of wheat 
and flour a value of four million thirty -seven thousand and ninety- 
three dollars by the mouth of the Columbia river. During 1874 
there was a steady improvement in the growth of the city, yet the 
loss of the previous years and the filling up of the wastes by fires did 
not so much work for the extension of the city limits. During 1875, 
the general depression in business throughout the United States, 
consequent upon the general failure which was begun by the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Co., so affected Portland as to discourage general 
improvement. Exports in shipping continued about the same. 
Railroad enterprises, although working to the advantage of the city, 
were now drawing in rather than disbursing money, although work 
on the west side was resumed. There was considerable increase in 
property and population which now reached thirteen thousand four 
hundred and seventy. 

The publications of the time speak of the prosperity of 1876, 
of "the numerous and costly buildings" erected, of Additional 
wharves and warehouses" and of manufacturing interests, but a 
detailed account is not at hand. Seventy-two foreign vessels visited 

162 History of Portland. 

the river and the export of wheat was one million nine hundred and 
thirty-seven thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven centals, and of 
flour two hundred and fifteen thousand seven hundred and fourteen 
barrels. The salmon business on the lower Columbia Was moving 
toward its maximum, the pack of this year being estimated at four 
hundred and eighty thousand cases. Wool, to the value of six 
hundred thousand dollars, was also shipped. There was also a coast- 
wise export of upwards of one million dollars to San Francisco. 
The population was thirteen thousand eight hundred and two. 

During 1877 about one hundred separate building improvements 
were made. Tliose valued at five thousand dollars or upwards are 
named herewith: a wharf, by John Rines, at the foot of Oak street, 
five thousand dollars; improvements to school buildings, twelve 
thousand dollars; two-story brick building, by P. W. D. Hardenberg, 
at the northwest corner of Morrison and Second streets, ten thousand 
dollars; two residences, by Rev. George Burton, at the northwest 
corner of Eleventh and Morrison streets, five thousand dollars; a two 
story brick building, by Harker, on First and Front, between 
Morrison and Yamhill, eight thousand dollars; a two-story brick 
building on Front street near Main, five thousand dollars; a wharf, 
by Captain Flanders, at the foot of C street, eight thousand dollars; 
German Reformed church, at the northeast corner of Stark and N, 
five thousand dollars; Lutheran church, rebuilt into a dwelling, H. 
W. Corbett, six thousand dollars; a double house, by G. F. Wells, 
West Park and Yamhill, six thousand five hundred dollars; residence 
by F. Dekum, on block between Eleventh and Twelfth, and Yamhill 
and Morrison, thirteen thousand dollars; a one-story brick building, 
on the corner of First and Taylor, by C. M. Rohr, five thousand 
dollars; three residences, by W. Honey man, on Tenth and Taylor 
streets, six thousand dollars; improvements to the mill near the water 
works, six thousand dollars; a dock and warehouse by W. K. Smith, 
on the levee north of Salmon street, ten thousand dollars; brick 
building by H. Weinhard, corner of B and Eleventh streets, fifteen thou- 
sand dollars; brick building, by F. Dekum, on the corner of A and Front 
streets, thirteen thousand dollars; two-story brick, by H. Trenkman, 
eight thousand dollars. The total improvements for this year were 

Growth and Improvements. 163 

estimated at three hundred and twenty thousand dollars. About 
eighty vessels in the foreign trade entered the Columbia river. The 
total wheat and flour export was upward of five million dollars in value. 
The total of all exports from the Columbia was estimated at over 
sixteen million dollars — probably somewhat excessive. The 
assessable property of the city was twelve million one hundred and 
thirteen thousand two hundred and fifty-five dollars and the population 
was estimated at fifteen thousand and ninety-nine. 

The movement toward improvements begun so auspiciously in 
1877, steadily expanded during 1878, the number of separate 
buildings exceeding two hundred and fifty and costing about one 
million dollars. Of those costing ten thousand dollars or upwards 
we give a list below. Among them stood pre-eminent the Catholic 
Cathedral on the old site at the corner of Third and Stark streets, 
built of brick in the Gothic style, and costing eighty thousand dollars. 
The new Unitarian church was also built this year on the old site 
at Seventh and Yamhill at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars. A 
handsome brick store was erected at the foot of Stark street by Reed 
and Failing at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. The brick store of 
J. S. Smith was also erected this year at the foot of Washington 
street, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. G. H. Flanders made an 
addition to his wharf at an expense of ten thousand dollars. The 
wharf of J. S. Smith, at the foot of Washington street, was built at 
a cost of ten thousand dollars; and the machine shop, by S. M. Dyer, 
at eighteen thousand dollars. A brick hotel was erected on the 
corner of Third and F streets by John Burton at a cost of thirteen 
thousand dollars. A residence was built by Henry Weinhard on B 
and S streets, costing sixteen thousand dollars; and Molson's brewery 
on Ninth and B, at an expenditure of sixteen thousand dollars. 
Stores were built by H. C. Leonard on the corner of Front and 
A, at twenty-four thousand dollars, and also by Chinese companies 
on the corner of Second and Alder, at ten thousand five hundred; 
and a brick store by C. P. Church & Co., on the corner of First and 
Morrison, at thirteen thousand five hundred dollars. A livery stable 
was built by Sherlock and Bacon, on the corner of Second and Oak 
streets, costing twenty-three thousand dollars. A hotel was erected 

164 History of Portland. 

by Therkelsen & M'Kay on Second and C, at ten thousand dollars. 
The other buildings of this year were quite handsome residences, as 
that of Dr. G. H. Chance, on the corner of Hall and Second streets, 
at a cost of five thousand dollars, of J. B. Congle, on Sixth street, 
between Salmon and Taylor, at four thousand dollars, and L,. 
Therkelsen, on Market and Ninth streets, at five thousand three 
hundred dollars. 

The following from The Oregonian of that date well illustrates 
the growth of the city by comparison of river traffic: "In 1868 
eight steamboats, of which two were only used as substitutes, 
transacted all the passenger and freight business, excepting that by 
ocean vessels, centering in Portland; and even then were compelled, 
in order to 'make expenses,' to do all the miscellaneous towage 
which the river then afforded. This was before the days of either 
the east or west side railroad, and the little steamer Senator, running 
between Portland and Oregon City, found it an easy task by making 
one round trip each day to move all the grain crop of the Willamette 
Valley and to carry the passengers and general freight of both sides 
of the river. Now twelve steamers, any one of them larger than the 
Senator, find profitable business on the Willamette, and sixty cars 
each day, loaded with grain and passengers, come into our city by 
two lines of railways. 

"Then the steamboat Cascades, of less than four hundred and fifty 
tons burden, ran between this city and the gorge from which she 
derived her name, making one trip each day, and without incon- 
venience carried all the merchandise required by the people of that 
part of Oregon and Washington east of the Cascade Mountains and the 
northern half of Idaho. Now the magnificent boats & G. Reed and 
Wide West find steady and difficult work in keeping the warehouses 
clear. In addition to these, smaller boats are constantly employed in 
trade along the river bank. 

' 'Between Portland and Astoria, one steamer, much smaller than 
the boats .of to-day, made three trips each week and did all the job 
towing on the Columbia below Rainier. On the same route now 
two large boats ply regularly on alternate days^ and over forty tugs 
and smaller steamers are engaged in towing and general work." 

Growth and Improvements. 165 

The valuation of property reached twelve million two hundred 
and ninety-one thousand three hundred aud fifty dollars. Wheat and 
flour exports were estimated at a value of about three million dollars. 
The population was estimated at nineteen thousand one hundred and 
twenty-eight, but this was undoubtedly an over-estimate, as two 
years later it was found to be but a little over seventeen thousand. 
The statistics which we have given of population have been taken 
from the directories of the consecutive years, and it is probable that 
owing to the excess of adults, too high proportion of total population 
to names was assumed. 

During 1879 improvements still increased, reaching a value of 
one million one hundred and sixty-two thousand and seven hundred 
dollars; consisting of two hundred and s'eventy-six dwellings, sixteen 
brick blocks, fifty-eight stores, eight hotels, six docks and warehouses, 
fourteen shops and stables, two schools, two planing mills, one 
brewery and the Mechanics' Pavilion. The buildings of a value 
exceeding ten thousand dollars may be named as follows: The 
Union block, by Corbett & Failing, eighty-six thousand dollars; the 
Esmond Hotel, at the corner of Front and Morrison, by Coulter & 
Church, forty-five thousand dollars; a block of eight residences on 
Second and Mill streets by S. G. Reed, forty thousand dollars; the 
Park school house, on Jefferson street between East and West Park, 
twenty-nine thousand dollars; a brick block on the corner of Front 
and B streets by Klosterman Bros., at thirty-five thousand dollars; a 
residence by C. H. Lewis, on the corner of Nineteenth and G streets, 
thirty-five thousand dollars; the residence of H. D. Green at the head 
of B street, twenty-eight thousand dollars; the brewery of George 
Herrall, on Water street, near Harrison, twenty-five thousand 
dollars; a wharf between Taylof and Salmon streets by J. F. Jones, 
twenty-five thousand dollars; the three story brick building on the 
corner of Front and Columbia streets by Peter Manciet, eighteen 
thousand five hundred dollars; the new Harrison Street School house, 
eighteen thousand dollars; a brick block by John Shade, fifteen 
thousand dollars; the Mechanics' Pavilion, on the block between 
Second and Third and Clay and Market, sixteen thousand five 
hundred dollars; a brick block by H. McKinnell, on Second street 

166 History of Portland. 

between Salmon and Main, thirteen thousand dollars; a residence by 
Samuel D. Smith, on Twelfth between Yamhill and Taylor, ten 
thousand dollars; a residence by M. W. Fechheimer on the corner of 
West Park and Montgomery, fourteen thousand dollars; a residence 
by J. W. Whalley, corner of West Park and Harrison, ten thousand 
dollars; a brick block by Mrs. Mark A. King, on the corner of Third 
and Alder; a brick block by Dr. R. Glisan, on the corner of Second 
and Ash, thirteen thousand dollars; a brick block by Chinese 
merchants on the corner of Second and Alder, twenty thousand 
dollars; a brick block on the corner of Front and Ash by N. Lambert, 
H. Iy. Hoyt and J. W. Cook, twenty-four thousand five hundred 
dollars; a brick block by Fleischner & Hirsch, on First and. B 
streets, sixteen thousand seven hundred; the residence of J. C. 
Carson, on the corner of Nineteenth and J streets, ten thousand 
dollars; tracks for switches and round house of the Western Oregon 
Railroad, ten thousand dollars; Park school house twenty-nine 
thousand dollars; and there was spent on the Catholic Cathedral 
ten thousand dollars more in completion. Many residences and 
minor business houses of a value of five thousand dollars to eight 
thousand dollars were also erected. It was during this year that the 
palatial residences in the northwestern portion of the city began to 
be erected, converting what was once a dilapidated forest overgrown 
with brush and wild vines, into one of the most handsome and sightly 
portions of the city. 

The grain fleet entering the river numbered about ninety vessels; 
this was exclusive of the regular coasters. The steamers registering 
in the Portland district were sixty, with a total capacity of twenty- 
seven thousand five hundred and ninety-seven tons. The steamers 
OriAamme and John L. Stephens had now disappeared, having been 
broken up. There were thirteen sailing vessels with a total capacity of 
six thousand one hundred and four tons. The export of wheat 
reached upwards of two million centals, valued at over five million 
dollars. Shipments of wool reached seven million pounds. The 
catch of salmon was three hundred and twenty-five thousand cases. 
The gross valuation of property was thirteen million one hundred 
and forty-three thousand four hundred and twenty-five dollars. 


Growth and Improvements. 167 

The prospects of growth and business in 1880 were 
bright, and stimulated not only activity in real estate move- 
ments, but in business also. The uncertain and depressing 
railroad management of Ben Holladay had given away to the more 
business like and careful regime of the German Company, and plans 
for the O. R. & N. Railway and for the speedy completion of the 
Northern Pacific were taking definite and public form. Sales of real 
estate were considerable, although uncertainty as to the location of 
the terminal works of the transcontinental line, now expected to be 
made in North Portland, now in South Portland, and again in East 
Portland, gave a strongly speculative character to this line of trade. 
Improvements extended uniformly in all portions of the city from the 
river bank to the city limits, and even beyond them. There were 
ere<5ted thirteen brick blocks and stores; thirty frame blocks and 
stores, six docks, four manufactories, three churches, two hotels and 
two hundred and two dwellings at a gross valuation of eight hundred 
and eighty-one thousand dollars. Those costing ten thousand dollars 
or upwards are named as follows: Family residence of Capt. George 
Ainsworth, on the corner of Sixth and Yamhill, fifteen thousand 
dollars; a residence by the same, ten thousand dollars; improvements 
to the Zeta Psi block, corner Front and D, ten thousand dollars; the 
Chinese theater, on Second street, twelve thousand dollars; the 
Oregon Steam Bakery, by Iyiebe & Holburg, on East Park and G, 
fifteen thousand dollars ; the building by L,abbe Bros. , on the corner 
of Second and Washington streets, eleven thousand dollars ; a brick 
block on Washington street between First and Second, by Richardson 
& Mann, ten thousand dollars; the three story brick block on the 
corner of Second and Stark streets, thirty-six thousand dollars; the 
brick building on First street between Main and Yamhill, ten 
thousand dollars; the three story building on Third street between 
Yamhill and Taylor, twelve thousand dollars; the Nicolai House, at 
the corner of Third and D streets, thirteen thousand dollars; an 
addition of five hundred feet to the Ainsworth Dock by the O. R. & 
N. Co., fifty thousand dollars; an addition to the Steamship Dock of 
the same company, twenty-eight thousand dollars ; an addition to the 
Greenwich Dock by Capt Flanders, twenty thousand dollars; the 

168 History of Portland. 

Multnomah block, at the corner of Fifth and Morrison, by H. W. 
Corbett, twenty-eight thousand dollars; the furniture factory of I. F. 
Powers, twenty-five thousand dollars; a four story residence on 
Sixteenth and B streets by the Dundee Investment Company, nineteen 
thousand four hundred dollars; the two story business block on the 
corner of Second and E streets by J. C. Ainsworth, thirteen thousand 
dollars; the Stark street ferry boat by Knott Bros., sixteen thousand 

In 1880 the hotels had increased to twenty-nine. Those on Front 
street were the American Exchange, The Esmond, St. Charles, 
Commercial, New York and Zur Rheinpfalz. On First street there 
were the California House, the Eureka, the Globe, the Norton 
House, the Clarendon, the Occidental, the Oregon, the St. George, 
the St. Iyouis, the Thompson House, the Metropolis, Portland and 
Phoenix. On Second street there were the DeFrance and Richmond 
House. On Third street there were the Burton House, Holton 
House and the Nicolai. There were besides these thirty boarding 
houses, twenty-one restaurants, nine coffee houses and three oyster 
saloons. There were one hundred and three liquor saloons and ten 
wholesale liquor houses. There were twenty-four butchers. The whole- 
sale grocers were seven and the retail grocers fifty-three. The physi- 
cians now numbered sixty-seven, the attorneys sixty-three, and editors 
thirty-four. There were seven sawmills, three flour mills, three box 
factories, one brass foundry, two soap works, one stove manufactory, 
four foundries, six iron works, four ferries plying on the river, fifty- 
seven contractors and builders, three wholesale and twenty retail 
dealers in dry goods, seven dealers in crockery and glassware, three 
wholesale and thirteen retail clothiers, three wholesale and ten retail 
dealers in boots and shoes, and thirty-four commission merchants. 
Commerce indicated about its previous volume. By the United 
States census of 1880, the population was found to be. seventeen 
thousand five hundred and seventy-eight. By the Directory of that 
year it was estimated at twenty-one thousand six hundred. 

During 1881 there were spent about one million one hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars in building. The most important of these 
were the following: The iron and brick building of W. S. L,add, at 

Growth and Improvements. 169 

the corner of First and Columbia, costing forty thousand dollars; the 
Portland Seaman's Bethel, on the corner of Third and D streets, 
under the management of R. S. Stubbs, twelve thousand dollars; 
G. W. Jones's block, on block 176 in Couch's Addition; G. W. 
Weidler's residence, on the corner of L, and Eighteenth streets, 
costing sixteen thousand dollars; C. P. Bacon's residence, on the 
same block as above, ten thousand dollars; residence of W. N. 
Wallace on Tenth and Salmon streets; residence of Sylvester 
Pennoyer on the corner of West Park and Madison streets ; the three 
story brick of J. C. Ainsworth on Third and Oak streets, costing 
eighty-five thousand dollars; the Cosmopolitan block of Reed & 
Failing, on the corner of Second and Stark; and the residence of 
J. N. Dolph on Fifth and Jefferson, were the most prominent 
structures of the year. The Columbia Dock was built by C. H. 
Lewis, at the foot of N street, at a cost of twenty-five thousand 
dollars. Commercial statistics showed an increasing volume of 
business. New interest in the mines of Idaho and of Southern 
Oregon began to be felt by the capitalists of Portland, and with the 
prospect of railroad connection to these points, they inaugurated the 
operations which have since attained such proportions. Manufacturing 
interests began to concentrate in and about Portland. Weidler's 
immense sawmill, with capacity of one hundred and fifty thousand 
feet per day, led all in the volume of business. Besides lumber, the 
manufacture of furniture, of boots and shoes, of wagons, of iron 
and steel implements and machinery, and preservation of fruit 
assumed appreciable proportions. 

In 1882, the extent of improvements rose to an astonishing 
degree, a total of two million nine hundred and seventy-four thousand 
six hundred dollars being spent in Portland, East Portland and 
Albina. The more noticeable of these buildings erected were the 
four-story brick structure of Dolph & Thompson on First street, 
between Pine and Ash, with dock in the rear, costing two hundred 
thousand dollars; the First National Bank building on the corner of 
First and Washington, one hundred and twenty-fiFe thousand dollars; 
the three-story brick block of Allen & Lewis on North Front street,, 
one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars; the Calvary Presby- 

170 History of Portland. 

terian Church on the corner of Ninth and Clay streets, thirty-six 
thousand dollars; the North Pacific Manufacturing Company's 
plant and improvements, fifty thousand dollars; the Couch school 
house on Sixteenth street, between K and Iy, thirty-five thousand 
dollars; the Failing school house on First street, between Hooker 
and Porter, thirty-five thousand dollars; the railroad docks, coal 
bunkers, etc., at Albina, one hundred and eighty thousand dollars; 
the residence of Bishop B. W. Morris, corner of Nineteenth and E 
streets, twenty thousand dollars; residence of R. B. Knapp, on 
Sixteenth and E streets, thirty-five thousand dollars; residence of 
Captain G. H. Flanders, on the corner of F and Eighteenth streets, 
forty thousand dollars. There were many others of elegant design 
and finish costing twenty thousand dollars and less. 

During the year 1884 there were built seventy-five large dwellings, 
thirty-six brick houses and blocks, and other buildings, bringing up 
the total to two hundred and eleven. For business houses there were 
spent six hundred and twenty-two thousand dollars ; for residences, 
three hundred and forty-nine thousand five hundred dollars ; for other 
improvements, seven hundred and eleven thousand seven hundred 
dollars, making a total of one million six hundred and eighty-three 
thousand six hundred dollars. 

East Portland's improvements footed up three hundred and forty- 
one thousand seven hundred dollars, and those of Sellwood and 
Albina, seventy-five thousand dollars. On street improvements in 
Portland there were spent three hundred and thirty-four thousand 
five hundred and fifty -five dollars and seventeen cents. Grace Church 
was erected at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars, on the 
corner of Eleventh and Taylor streets. Pipe organs costing about 
three thousand dollars each, were placed in two churches. 

During the year following there was some decline in improvements, 
but as there was also a great decrease in the cost of materials, it was 
a good time to build, and those sagacious and able took advantage of 
the opportunity to erect some very handsome and costly structures, 
which have given character and tone to the appearance of the city. 
Among these may be mentioned the Portland Savings Bank, of brick, 
on the southwest corner of Second and Washington streets, at a cost 

Growth and Improvements. 171 

of seventy-five thousand dollars; Jacob Kamm's magnificent brick 
block on Pine street, between Front and First, eighty thousand 
dollars; the High School building on Twelfth and Morrison, sixty 
thousand dollars; M. F. Mulkey's brick block on the corner of 
Second and Morrison, forty thousand dollars; Weinhard's brick 
brewery, fifteen thousand dollars. R. B. Knapp's residence built 
this year, cost ninety thousand dollars; Pfunder's unique Swiss 
residence on Ninth and Washington, ten thousand dollars. About 
two hundred dwellings were erected at a cost of three hundred and 
ninety thousand dollars. Improvements were made in East Portland 
to the value of one hundred and two thousand nine hundred dollars, 
and in Albina of twenty thousand dollars, making a grand total of 
nine hundred and sixty- four thousand four hundred dollars. 

By the State census of 1885, the population of Multnomah 
county was placed at thirty-five thousand seven hundred and thirty- 
two; about three-fourths of this should be attributed to Portland. 

The year 1886 was marked by a great increase in buildings and 
improvements, some of which were of great extent, as will be seen 
by the following list: Morrison St r eet bridge (commenced), two 
hundred thousand dollars; Albina Terminal works, seven hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars; the new medical college, thirty-five 
thousand dollars; the reduction works in East Portland, fifty thousand 
dollars; Reed's five-story brick building on Third street, between 
Washington and Stark, ninety-five thousand dollars; the United 
Carriage, Baggage and Transportation Co.'s barn, twenty-five 
thousand dollars ; the four-story brick stable on Second street between 
Stark and Washington, twenty-seven thousand dollars; vessels 
built or improved, sixty-eight thousand five hundred dollars. The 
stone church of the Presbyterians was projected at a cost of one 
hundred thousand dollars. The grand total of all improvements 
actually made, reached one million nine hundred and eighty-nine 
thousand one hundred and ninety-one dollars. 

The year 1887 witnessed a steady expansion in building and 
improvements. Among the most important were the following: The 
Abington Building, on Third street, between Stark and Washington, 
sixty -five thousand dollars; the five-story building west of the 

172 History of Portland. 

Portland Savings bank; the residence of Levi White on Nineteenth 
street, forty-five thousand dollars; The Armory, on Tenth and B 
streets, forty thousand dollars; W. S. Ladd's brick building at the 
foot of Morrison street, sixty-five thousand dollars ; improvements on 
the Oregonian building, by H. L,. Pittock, eighteen thousand dollars ; 
the four-story brick building of C. H. Dodd, on the corner of First 
and A streets, seventy-seven thousand dollars; the building of the 
Cyclorama Co., on Pine street, between Third and Fourth, sixty 
thousand dollars; the Portland Bridge, two hundred thousand dollars; 
on the railroad bridge there was spent one hundred and seventy-five 
thousand dollars. The cable car line up to the heights was begun. 
The streets were improved to the value of one hundred and ninety- 
seven thousand eight hundred and thirty-five dollars. The total 
improvements of the year are summarized as follows: In the city, 
one million fifty- four thousand one hundred and seventy-nine dollars ; 
on Portland Heights, sixty thousand dollars; in East Portland, 
one hundred and ninety-five thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars; 
in Albina, six hundred and twelve thousand nine hundred and 
ninety-nine dollars and fifty cents; on Mount Tabor, sixty thousand 
dollars; making a grand total of two million seven hundred and 
eighty-four thousand and twenty-four dollars. 

During 1888 all former improvements were far exceeded. Many 
large buildings of the most permanent character, and improvements 
which would be a credit to any great city were brought to completion 
or undertaken. The following is a list of the principal works: The 
Exposition Building, on Fourteenth and B, one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars; on the First Presbyterian church, sixty thousand 
dollars; the Jewish Synagogue, sixty -five thousand dollars; the 
railroad bridge (finished), four hundred thousand dollars; improve- 
ments by the water committee, two hundred and forty thousand 
dollars; buildings in Portland (not otherwise named), one million 
eight hundred thousand dollars; improvements on the streets of 
Portland, three hundred and twelve thousand five hundred dollars; 
East Portland and Sunnyside, three hundred and nineteen thousand 
three hundred and eighty-eight dollars; at Oswego, five hundred 
thousand dollars; at Albina, one hundred and eighty-one thousand 

Growth and Improvements.- 173 

six hundred and ninety-five dollars; on the street railways, fifty 
thousand dollars; on Portland Heights, forty thousand dollar; on 
Mount Tabor, thirty thousand dollars; at Sellwood, twelve thousand 
dollars; at Milwaukie, seven thousand three hundred dollars. This 
shows a total of three million five hundred and twenty-two thousand 
six hundred and thirty-nine dollars. 

It is noticeable by the foregoing that many of these improvements 
were made outside of the city limits, in some cases from three to six 
miles distant. The propriety of including them among the 
improvements of Portland arises from the fact that they were 
undertaken and completed by Portland capital and were in fact the 
growth of the city itself — illustrating how Portland has completely 
overstepped what were once called "the natural limits of the city," 
between the circle of hills and the bending course of the Willamette. 
The improvements of 1889, reaching a value of about five million 
dollars are fully mentioned elsewhere, and need not be enumerated 

These statistics as given in the foregoing pages, while probably 
not without error, are nevertheless the best now to be had, and give 
approximately a correct idea of business operations and the growth of 
the place. By examination it will be seen that the development of 
Portland, as of all new cities, has been, as it were, by wave motions, 
the flood now rising and now falling again, but nevertheless at each 
new turn reaching a much higher point. Much of this oscillating 
movement has been due to the peculiar circumstances of the city and 
to the opening of the country by public works. In the very earliest 
days the first movement was due to the coming of ships loaded with 
goods for the use of the rural population of the Willamette Valley. 
Portland as a shipping point and post of supply made a secure 
beginning. After it had become thus established it did the business 
for the farming community surrounding in a regular and steady 
fashion without much increase except as the growth of the tributary 
country demanded. During the early sixties, however, a new and 
promising field was opened for her merchants and navigation 
companies by the discovery of precious metals in Eastern Oregon 
and Idaho. With the development of the mines, and to quite an 

174 . History of Portland. 

extent also with the settlement of Eastern Oregon and Washington 
and their occupation by cattle dealers and cattle raisers, Portland 
gained largely in business and trade. The steady growth resulting 
from this development was not greatly accelerated until in 1867-68 
plans for opening the country by means of railroad were brought to 
completion, and ground was actually broken for a line to California. 
With the prospect of railroad connection with the rest of the world, the 
speculative imagination of the people of Portland was excited, and 
almost extravagant dreams of great immediate growth and wealth were 
indulged by even the most steady and conservative. Property 
increased greatly in value and improvements were stimulated. The 
early railroad days of Oregon were, however, beset with difficulties, 
as will be seen in a following chapter, although, producing much 
real growth, did not ultimate so hopefully as was by many antici- 
pated. Ben Holladay showed an unexpected weakness and incapacity 
in managing his roads, and as his bonds declined and the general expec- 
tation of failure was felt, depression was experienced in all parts of the 
State. When a few years later occurred the great business collapse 
in the United States, which began with the failure of J. Cooke & 
Co. and the Northern Pacific Railroad Co. , Portland was left to the 
simple cultivation of her domestic commerce, and inflated prices and 
expectations had to be abandoned. With the passage, however, of 
the California and of the Oregon Central railroads into the hands of 
the German bondholders, and a better system of management thereby 
introduced, business revived once more and Portland found herself 
obliged to add to her accommodations to meet the incoming 
tide of immigration and the increased flood of business. 
Independent commerce with the East and with Europe having 
sprung up stimulated very largely the production of grain in the 
Willamette Valley and also in Eastern Oregon and Washington, so 
that there was a steady increase in • the amount of treasure received 
into the country and in the volume of business transacted at 
Portland. Exports of wool, lumber and salmon also figured largely 
to swell the volume of trade. With the year 1880 and those 
succeeding, prospects, and at length the realization, of a through 
line from Portland to the East, produced a greater volume of trade 

Growth and Improvements. 175 

and raised higher expectations than had previously been known. 
Portland began to assume a truly metropolitan appearance. Activity 
in real estate and in building, and an expansion of all kinds was 
everywhere noticeable. All went well, until the O. R. & N. road 
and the Northern Pacific had been so far completed as to make a 
through line to New York, and Villard and the Oregon and Trans- 
continental railroad having gone beyond their means, suffered a 
reverse, and in their ruin involved also many of the citizens of 
Portland. For a time the people of our city seemed discouraged, 
nor did they quite realize the immense importance to them of railroad 
connection with all parts of the Northwest. Gradually, however, 
they began to see the ease with which they might connect themselves 
with all parts of Oregon and Washington and command the wholesale 
business of this region; and how they might even more stimulate 
the agricultural and mining interests of this whole region. Gathering 
up these lines of business they began to push vigorously and in a 
short time were at the head of the commercial, mining, manufacturing 
and banking interests of the whole section. As a result of this active 
policy business began to pour in, in an almost overwhelming flood, 
through the thoroughfares, the docks, the commercial houses and the 
banks of our city. Real estate rose greatly in value; addition after 
addition being added to our city; suburban towns began to spring 
up; manufacturers began to press in for a location, and capitalists 
found themselves obliged to erect buildings as rapidly as materials 
and labor could be obtained. A generous public spirit began to be 
felt and a general desire for public buildings which would do credit 
to the city was expressed. By public enterprise, such buildings as 
that of the Northwestern Industrial Exposition and the grand Hotel 
Portland were constructed. Men of wealth saw that the situation 
warranted the construction of the very best and most permanent 
houses. Fine churches were also erected. Street car lines were 
multiplied. Electric railways and motor lines to the suburbs and 
other points near were built with astonishing rapidity. With the 
passing out of the year 1889, the greatest amount of capital of any 
season has been spent in improvements, and there is every indication 
of a still greater expenditure in the coming year. 


176 History of Portland. 

Portland has now reached the point where she has comfortable 
communication with all parts of the territory which she is to serve. 
Her growth is now but the result of the growth of Oregon and 
Washington. What yet remains to be seen is a perfect opening of 
the Columbia river from its mouth to the British line, and the 
improvement of the tributaries of this magnificent stream, so that 
not only by rail but by water, every village and farm may be brought 
into close connection with our city, and may be supplied from her 
warehouses and shops. 



Charter of 1851 — Its Provisions and Amendments — Charter of 1872 — Charter 
of 1882 — Police Department — Fire Department — Health Department — Water Works 
— Public Buildings — Biographical Sketches of Mayors — Iyist of City Officials From 
1851 to 1890. 

IN 1851 a Charter was granted to the city of Portland by the 
Legislature of Oregon. By this instrument corporate powers were 
lodged in the u People of the city of Portland,' ' constituting them 
u a body politic and corporate in fact and law" with all necessary 
legal privileges. The city limits were to be fixed by a line beginning 
at the northwest corner of the donation claim of Finice Caruthers, 
running thence easterly by the north line of that claim to the* river 
bank, and by a projection of the same to the middle of the Willam- 
ette; thence northerly by the middle of the river to the projection of 
the north line of Couch's claim; thence west seventy chains and south 
to the place of beginning. 

There was little that was peculiar about the charter. It provided 
that the officers should be mayor, recorder, treasurer, marshal and 
assessor. There should be a common council of nine members. All 
of the above offices were to be filled by election of the voters of the 
city. By appointment of the city council there were to be city 
attorney, street commissioner, city surveyor and city collector. 
Election day was fixed on the first Monday in April, yearly. 

City Charter. 177 

Elections were to be by ballot and a residence in the town of thirty 
days in addition to the qualifications of voters in the then territory, 
was required. No election was to be held in a saloon, or any place 
where ardent spirits were sold. Proper provisions for appointment in 
case of absences were also made. 

The common cduncil was invested with the usual powers, being 
authorized to pass ordinances not in conflict with the constitution of 
the State or the United States; to colledl taxes, provide water, and 
guard against fires, diseases, nuisances, and disorders; to license 
taverns, and all other forms of business or trade usually put under 
some sort of restriction; and to suppress gambling houses and 
other immoral things. Property outside of the city limits for 
such necessary purposes as pest house, water works, etc. , might be 
purchased and owned. Duties of officers were carefully specified. 

Among provisions likely to be amended was that forbidding the 
mayor and members of the common council to receive pay for their 
services ; to allow a protest of the owners of one-third of the property 
on a street to stop improvements ordered thereupon, while two-thirds 
of the expense of all improvements of streets was to be borne by the 
property adjacent; and the provision that land within the city limits 
not laid out in blocks and lots should not be taxed by the city. 

Among miscellaneous provisions were that fixing the beginning 
of the fiscal year on July 1st; that giving the decision of a tie vote 
at any elecflion to the common council; that no officer in the city 
government should have any interest in city contracts; that an oath 
of office must be taken and that any ordinance calling for an 
expenditure of above one hundred dollars must lie ten days before 

In 1858 certain amendments were made, by which the city was 
to be divided into three wards, each electing three members to the 
council; to allow collection of port dues on ships and steamers; and 
to pay the councilmen three dollars • per day for actual service. 
In 1860 this provision for paying councilmen was repealed. 

In 1862 an amendment was added, relating principally to street 
improvements, providing that half the expense of such improvements 

178 History of Portland. 

should be borne by the owners of adjacent property, and that a 
protest of the owners of two-thirds of the property must be obtained 
to arrest any street work ordered by the council. 

In 1864 the entire instrument was revised and written in a more 
perspicuous style. The limits of the corporation were extended so as 
to include the Caruthers Claim. The mayor was to serve two years; 
the election was to be on the third Monday in June. The fiscal year 
was to begin with January, the city was not to incur an indebtedness 
of above fifty thousand dollars; a dredger might be owned and 
operated by the city on the lower Willamette. The mayor and the 
councilmen should receive no compensation. In 1865 an amendment 
was made in regard to laying out new streets; and constructing sewers 
and drains. 

In 1872 a new charter was granted, which was quite a voluminous 
document, and introduced many changes. The limits of the city 
were extended so as to include the whole of the Caruthers and Couch 
claims, and a space seventy chains and over still to the west. The 
city was divided into three wards, the first including all that portion 
north of Washington street; the second, that between Washington 
and Main streets, and the third, all south of Main street. Each ward 
was to elect three members to the common council for three years 
each. The mayor was to be elected for two years, and was invested 
with the veto power, requiring a two-thirds vote to pass an ordinance 
without his approval. The treasurer and assessor were to be chosen 
by the common council, and the attorney, street commissioner and 
surveyor were to be appointed by the mayor, with the consent of the 
council. The office of recorder was abolished and a police judge was 
instated to succeed him. This officer was to serve for two years, 
holding regular court, and came to his position by appointment of 
the mayor. The office of marshal was also abolished, and the police 
department was placed under the supervision of three police 
commissioners appointed by the governor. The mayor and council- 
men were forbidden to receive a salary, or other compensation ; the 
rewards of the other officers were definitely fixed, that of police 
commissioner being three dollars per day for actual service. Special 
policemen were allowed, but they were not to receive pay from the 

City Charter. 179 

city — being left, it would seem, to obtain their wages from private 
persons asking their services. It has recently been earnestly 
recommended to abolish the "specials." 

The street commissioner was invested with large powers. Street 
improvements were to be paid by tax on property adjacent and could 
be discontinued upon the remonstrance of two-thirds of the property 
holders interested. Changes of grade were to be paid for out of the 
general fund. Taxes, except for the dredging of the river, were not 
to exceed one and one-half per centum of the assessed value of city 
property per annum. The indebtedness of the city was not to exceed 
one hundred thousand dollars. The financial needs of the Police 
Department were to be determined by the police commissioners, and 
the sum requisite was to be provided by the common council by tax. 

The details of the instrument are very minute, and some 
features, as the last mentioned, were likely to produce friction in 

By the charter of 1882, which, with various amendments, is 
still in force, the boundaries of the city were so extended as to embrace 
the Blackistone place on the north, and some additions on the south 
and west, while the middle of the Willamette was still left as the 
limit on the east City authority is vested in mayor, common 
council and board of police commissioners. The three wards are 
continued with substantially the same boundaries as before, each of 
which is entitled to three members in the common council. Coun- 
cilmen, mayor and treasurer come to their office by vote of the 
electors of the city. The auditor is elected by the common council, 
holding his term at their pleasure. The attorney, street superin- 
tendent and surveyor are appointed by the mayor, with the consent 
of the council, and are removable for cause. Election is the third 
Monday in June. A residence of six months in the city and of ten 
days in the ward, in addition to qualifications as elector of the State, 
is required of the voter. Careful rules of election and regulations as 
to vacancies and absences are provided. 

The common council is invested with ample powers to carry on 
the business of the city, to secure good order, to regulate dangerous 
occupations, to prevent the introduction and spread of disease, and to 

180 History of Portland. 

suppress nuisances and immoral business. Authority is granted to 
impose a tax of three mills for general municipal purposes, and three 
and a half mills each for the support of the paid Fire Department 
and of the Police Department. Assessments of property in the city 
are made according to the assessment rolls of Multnomah County. 

The mayor is the general head of the city government, making 
an annual message to the common council, in which he reports upon 
the state of the city and recommends such measures as he deems 
proper. No ordinance may become a law without his approval unless 
passed subsequently by a two-thirds vote of the council. The 
treasurer is held to keep a strict account of the funds of the city, 
and the auditor keeps full record of all warrants and bills, issues 
licenses and makes annual lists of all property subject to taxation. 
The city attorney attends upon all actions to which the city is a 
party, prosecutes for violation of city ordinances, and prepares for 
execution all contracts, bonds or other legal instruments for the city. 
The street commissioner exercises a general care over the streets, 
the public squares and the parks; supervises surveys, and requires 
improvements ordered by the council to be fully and faithfully 

The Police Department is under the police commissioners, who 
are elected by the voters of the city and serve without salary. They 
organize and supervise the police force. The police judge, 
however, who must be an attorney of the degree of an attorney of 
the Supreme court of the State, and whose court is of the degree of 
that of justice of the peace, is appointed by the mayor, with the 
consent of the common council. He has jurisdiction of all crimes 
defined by city ordinance. His salary is not to exceed $2000 per 
annum. All police officers are strictly forbidden to receive compen- 
sation other than that provided by ordinance, under the general 

The Fire Department is under three commissioners who are 
appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council. Their 
term of office is for three years. Compensation of all officers or 
employees of the Fire Department is prescribed in the legislative a<5t 
erecting the same. 

Police Department. 181 

The City Water Works are, by this charter, placed in the hands 
of a committee appointed by the legislature with the power to fill all 
vacancies occurring in their own body. They are independent of all 
other departments of the city government. 

A fuller account of these two latter departments is given further 
down in this volume. 


Much care and expense have been bestowed on the police depart- 
ment. There is difficulty always in a city in securing enforcement 
of the laws against certain forms of vice and immorality. These 
often find refuge in the cupidity of property -owners and others and 
the law can seldom be enforced with vigor. But on the whole good 
order is maintained in Portland. 

The police force of the city consisted at first simply of the marshal. 
As his duties became too great for his personal attention, deputies 
were appointed by him, or by the council. 

By the Act of 1872 a regular police system was inaugurated. 
The office of marshal was abolished, and the management was given 
to a board of three police commissioners holding office three years, 
elected each year in order. The board was to be responsible to the 
people only. The office of recorder was succeeded by that of police 
judge, who was first appointed by the mayor. The system remains 
substantially as at the present time. The expenses of the department 
are to be determined by the commissioners and the necessary sum 
may be raised by the common council by tax not to exceed S}4 mills. 

Below are given the names of the policemen from 1872, the time 
of the new order. The names of marshals and judges will be found 
in the list of city officers. 

1872. Police Commissioners — A. B. Hallock, Pres., W. P. Burke, Eugene Semple. 
Chief— J. H. Lappeus. Police — J. R. Wiley, first captain; A. B. Brannan, second 
captain; H. M. Hudson, W. M. Ward, D. Norton, D. Walton, B. P. Collins, J. W. 
Kelly, C. F. Schoppe, T. Burke, Thos. Gale. Specials— W.M. Hickey, B. O'Hara, 
J. M. McCoy, M. F. Sherwood, Paul Marten. Poundmaster— Charles Lawrence. 

1873. Police Commissioners — A. B. Halleck, W. P. Burke, O. Risley. Police— 
J. H. Lappeus, chief; J. R. Wiley, A. B. Brannan, captains; Thos. Burk, J. W. 
Kelly, C. F. Scheppe, D. Norton, J. Corcoran, H. M. Hudson, J. K. Mercer, B. P # 
Collins, J. D. Yates, O. D. Buck, A. J. Barlow, F. Reardon, M. T. Sheehan, b! 
O'Hara, J. M'Coy, J. Sloan. P. Shea, J. O'Neil, P. Martin. 

182 History of Portland. 

1875-6. Police Commissioners— Shuhrick Norris, J. R. Foster. M. S. Burrell. Police 
— J. H, Lappeus, chief; B. P. Collins, J. Sloan, captains; Thos. Burke, A. B. 
Brannan, B. T. Belcher, Chas. Gritzmacher, J. W. Kelly, J. T. Watson, J. W. 
Hain, H. M. Hobson, J. S. Hamilton. Specials— J. McCoy, B. O'Hara, M. T. 
Sheehan. Poundmaster — Charles Lawrence. 

1877-8. Police Commissioners— TL. R. Riley, Wm. Connell, E. W. Connell. Police- 
Chief, L. Besser; H. S. Allen, J. W. Kelly, captains; C. P. Elwanger, H. M. 
Hudson, J. W. Kelley. Specials— J. McCoy, Barny O'Hara, M. F. Sheehan, C.W. 
Howard. Poundmaster — M. B. Wallace. 

1879. Police Commissioners— H. R. Riley, Wm. Connell, P. Taylor. Police— L. 
Besser, chief: J. Sloan, J. W. Kelly, captains; H. M. Hudson, J. Jaskallar, P. G. 
Martin, P. Coakley, W. B. Daniels. J. W. Ryan, Richard Collins, Andrew Henline, 
C. Gritzmacher, James Stephens, Terry McManus, T. P. Luther. Special— M. 
F. Sheehan, B. Branch, F. M. Arnold, Wm. Hickey, S. C. Barton. Poundmaster 
— S. H. Reed. 

1880. Commissioners— Peter Taylor, E. Corbett, S. G. Skidmore. Police—]. H. 
Lappeus, chief; James Sloan, C. Gritzmacher, captains; Benj. F. Goodwin, 
clerk; H. M. Hudson, detective; J. Jaskalla, D. J. Gillies, P. Coakley, C. S. Sil- 
ver, S. C. Matthieu, R. Collins, J. P. Luther, A. Henline, James Stephenson, J. I. 
Watson, J. W. Sloan, John Burk. Specials — A. B. Brannan, Wm. Hickey, S. C. 
Barton, Benj. Branch, P. Saunders, Joseph Day, J. W. Ryan, C. P. Elwanger. 
Poundmaster — S. H. Reed. 

1882. Commissioners on Health and Police— T. L. Nicklin, J. B. Kellogg, Henry 
Hewitt. Police Judge — S. B. Stearns; Police— J. H. Lappeus, chief; C. Gritz- 
macher, C. T. Belcher, captains; B. F. Goodwin, clerk; H. M. Hudson, James 
Mott, Arthur M. Putnam, Peter Schulderman, Levi Wing, T. P. Luther, Alex. 
Johnson, James T. Watson, Chris. Emig, Richard Collins, D. W. Dobbins, 
Andrew Holmberg, Felix Martin, Simeon C. Barton, A. B. Brannan, Wm. Meyers, 
James Barry, John Ring, S. C. Matthieu, Orrin H. Smith, Andrew Henline, Benj. 

1883. Commissioners on Health and Police — W. S. Scoggin, W. H. Adams, D. 
Mackay. Police Judge — S. A. Moreland. Police — J. H. Lappeus, chief; C. Gritz- 
macher, T. P. Luther, captains; H. M. Hudson, John Ring, Alex. Johnson, W. A. 
Beaumont, Felix Martin, W. W. Beach, Richard Collins, C. T. Belcher, A. B. 
Brannan, Levi Wing, Wm. Meyers, D. W. Dobbins, Benj. Branch, J. T. Watson, 
W. B. Bumpus, S. C. Barton, A. M. Putnam, Andrew Henline, Chris. Emig, Or- 
rin H. Smith, James A. Mott, J. N. James, Andrew Holmberg, J. F. Hair, James 

1884. Commissioners on Health and Police — R. Gerdes, A. F. Sears, Jr., W. H. 
Andrus. Police Judge— S. A. Moreland. W. H. Watkinds, chief; John Neale, 
clerk; A. F. Turner, J. F. Hair, A. M. Cornelius, captains. Clerk of police, 
Chas. A. Christie; deputy, F. D. Love. Policemen — A. Henline, Geo. H. Ward, A. 
Johnson, S. S. Young, Levi Wing, E. C. Lyon, Andrew Holmberg, Pat Keegan, 
J. N. James, A. B. Brannan, H. M. Hudson, Wm. Myers, F. M. Arnold, Richard 
Collins, J. E. Cramer, S. C. Barston, W. A. Hart, W. A. Beaumont, J. T. Watson, 
J. R. E. Selby, James Barry, R. M. Stuart, A. M. Putnam, W. L. Higgins, 0. H. 
Smith, J. T. Flynn. C. T. Belcher. 

Fire Department. 183 

1886. Commissioners— B. P. Cardwell, Jonathan Bourne, Jr., Joseph Simon. Police 
Judge— K. W. Dement. S. P. Lee, Clerk; S. B. Parrish, Chief; C. Gritz- 
macher, J. F. Farrell, A. Henline, Captains; Health Officer— Felix Martin. 
Deputy Poundmaster— Henry Wilmer. Policemen — C. W. Holsapple, R. H. 
Austin, H. D. Griffin, J. M. Harkleroad, Henry Holland, J. H. Cunningham, 
Chris. Emig, Daniel Maher, A. Tichenor, W. M. Beach, Andrew Holmberg, J. N. 
James, H. M. Hudson, F. M. Arnold, W. A. Hart, J. H. Beyer, J. H. Molt, Ben. 
Branch, J. J. Byrne, J. T. Watson, James Barry, A. M. Putnam, O. H. Smith, C. L. 
Belcher, S. S. Young, J. H. Nash, Pat Keegan, Samuel Simmons, A. B. Brannan, 
Wm. Myers, Richard B. Collins, S. C. Barton, R. M. Stuart, P. J. McCabe, Felix 
Martin, Wm. Hickey, C. P. Elwanger, J. A. Kelly, G. C. Morgan. 

1889. Commissioners— Joseph Simon, B. P. Cardwell. Judge— A. H. Tanner. 
S. B. Parrish, Chief of Police; C. Gritzmacher, R. H. Cardwell, Captains; 
Humane OiScer— Felix Martin. Health Officer— S. B. Parrish. Deputy Pound- 
master— Henry Wilmer. Policemen— R. H. Austin, James Barry, Ben. Banch, 
J. J. Byrne, M. P. Charles, R. Collins, Jos. Day, Chris. Emig, J. F. Farrell, George 
Foss, H. D. Griffin. W. A. Hait, Wm. Hickie, C. E. Hoxsie, A. Holmberg, C. W. 
Holsapple, H. M. Hudson, J. H. James, J. F. Kerrigan, Dan Maher, Felix Martin, 
Sam Miller, J. A. Mott, G. C. Morgan, Wm. Meyers, N. M. Putnam, F. W. Rob- 
inson, Thos. Ryan, Abe Tichenor, J. T. Watson, H. S. Wood, Levi Wing, H. 
Wilmer, W. H. Warren, S. S. Young, S. P. Iyee.i 

As indicating something of the business done at present in the 
police court, it may be mentioned that 2261 cases were tried (1888), 
of which 1669 were city cases, the rest State. Upwards of $8,000 
in fines were collected. 

Officially recognised by the police department, and favored with 
certain privileges — as special officer, or rooms in the city prison — are 
the Humane Society, for prevention of cruelty, and the Children's 
Aid Society, of which an account will be found under the head of 
Benevolent Societies. 


A sharp reminder that the city needed protection against the 
casualty of fire was given by the burning of the old steam saw mill 
at the foot of Jefferson street in 1853. In 1854 an ordinance was 
passed authorizing the formation and proper equipment of a fire 
company. This was a voluntary association of the citizens, who 
rendered their services freely. Much interest was felt in the movement, 
and public spirit kept the ranks well filled. The company was 
efficiently organized under H. W. Davis as Chief x and Shubrick 

1 As the force is continued much the same from year to year, it has been thought 
unnecessary to give the list for every year. 

184 History of Portland. 

Norris as Assistant. At the election in 1856 Mr. Davis was continued 
as Chief, with Orin Joynt, Assistant. In 1857 S. J. McCormick 
was elected Chief and Charles Hutchins, Assistant. In 1858 the 
situation was reversed, Hutchins becoming Chief, with McCormick, 
Assistant. In 1858 some changes of working were made, and J. M. 
Vansycklewas chosen Chief, with two assistants, Joseph Webber and 
F. Sherwood. Mr. Vansyckle was continued through 1859, with M. 
M. Ivucas and J. A. Messinger. In that year, also, the service was 
rendered much more efficient by the purchase of a steel alarm bell, 
weighing 1,030 pounds and costing $515.15. It was placed in a 
tower on the levee. In 1860, and until 1863, Joseph Webber was 

In 1860 an act was passed by the Legislature formally creating a 
Portland Fire Department, granting its members certain privileges, 
which it exceeded the power of the city government to confer. It 
was still to be a voluntary association with Chief and two assistants. 
These officers were to be chosen by vote of all the members of the 
company, and were to rank according to the number of votes they 
received, the three receiving the most votes being respectively Chief, 
and First and Second Assistants. The number of companies was not 
limited, but no company could be formed to contain less than 30 nor 
more than 75 members. The Chief was allowed to receive a small 
compensation of $300 a year. As an inducement to membership, a 
term of three years' service entitled any member to become an 
" exempt, " and by virtue of this fact he was relieved of jury duty 
and of service in the State Militia. 

Under the stimulus of these privileges, and by reason of general 
public spirit, the fire companies flourished greatly, almost every able- 
bodied man of proper age belonging to some one of them. The various 
companies were emulous of each other, each aiming to be first in 
numbers, efficiency and in elegance of dress. They ever were ready 
to participate in public display and festivities. They were prompt 
and active in their work, and were the means of saving property and 
life for many years. With serviceable engines and sufficient houses 
and good teams, they were a fine body of men either for parade or 
action. There were four engine companies, Willamette, Multnomah, 

Fire Department. 185 

Columbian and Protection, and the Vigilance Hook and Ladder 
Company. A list of the officers and members for 1864 is herewith 
given, partly to record the names of the firemen and partly as a 
record of citizens who might not otherwise appear in this work. 

Willamette Engine Company No. 1 Organized Aug. 3, 1853. 

Officers— P. C. Schuyler, Jr., foreman; Jas Bothwell, first assistant; Jos. Bergman, 
second assistant; Shubrick Norris, president; Richard B. Knapp, secretary; Harris 
Seymour, treasurer. 

Members— S. N. Arrigoni, L. A. Godard, J. M. Marble, P. C. Schuyler, Jr., Willam 
Beck, Asa Harker, T. T. Minor, S. S. Slater, D. W. Burnside, F. Harbaugh, Patrick 
Maher, Jacob Stitzel, M*. S. Burrell, W. L. Higgins, E. J. Northrup, James Sidden, H. 
F. Bloch, Charles Hutchins, Shubrick Norris, Frank Stribeg, Cincinnati Bills, P. D. 
W. Hardenburg, J. P. Null, J. C. VanRenssalaer, Jos. Bergman, R. B. Knapp, E. W. 
Nottage, C. M. Wiberg, James Bothwell, Samuel Kline, Robert Porter, Joseph Webber, 
W. D. Carter, W. S. Ladd, E. B. Pressey, J. O. Waterman, I. W. Case, C. H. Lewis, 
C. C. Perkins, John S. White, Wm. A. Daly, John Lillis, W. F. Paquet, Zeph Weitz, 
Lewis Day, J. DeLetts, A. J. Remington, A. G. Walling, Henry Failing, George T. 
Myers, Harris Seymour, Geo. H. Williams, F. S. Fitzgerald, Wm. McMillan, S. D. 
Smith, W. K. Witherell, G. W. Fuller, John McLaughlin, S. M. Smith, W. H. Weed, 
M. F. Gallagher, J. J. Meagher. 

Multnomah Engine Company No. 2. Organized in August, 1856. 

Officers — A. B. Hallock; foreman; T. B. Trevitt, first assistant; S. Skidmore, 
second assistant; A. J. Butler, president; Ben L. Norden, secretary; A. C. Ripley, 

Members— Joseph Butchel, A. Zieber, D. D. Orton, T. McF. Patton, Thomas A. 
Davis, L. Waterman, E. J. DeHart, J. H. Frank, R. S. Perkins, H. Ludwig, T. B. 
Scott, John Howe, J. W. Seller, W. V. Spencer, A. McKew, J. R. Foster, L. C. Millard, 
J. W. Davis, Samuel Hallowell, J. W. Failing, L. Baum, E. T. Reese, C. H. Myers, 

E. Scott, A. H. Johnson, James Straug, J. Painter, B. F. Goodwin, Joseph Tucker, 
John Gruber, Charles F. Powell, A. B. Stewart, James Costello, H. Rosenfield, T. 
Rogers, S. B. Parrish, H. E. Cutter, John Estabrooks, W. H. D. Joyce, J. Bachman, 

F. J. Molthrop, T. E. Byrnes, C. H. Hill, F. Eastabrooks, N. Wertheimer, J. E. Bent- 
ley, William I. Holmes, I. Bergmann, P. Cohen, Samuel Sherlock, Ben. Needham, 
J. E. Walsh, L. M. Starr, B. Loeb, A. J. Rowland, George Gans, A. B. Elfelt, F. M. 
Plummer, Dan. Fewtrell, John Barrett, C. A. Burchardt, Wash. I. Leonard, William 
Kapus, M. Peterson, Charles Binder, Wm. I. McEwan, William F. Cornell, R. B. 

Columbian Engine Company No. 3. Organized June 18, 1859. 

Officers — William B. Clark, foreman; John P. Denison, first assistant; William 
Young, second assistant; John A. Thompson, president; Hamilton Boyd, secretary; 
H. Wasserman, treasurer. 

186 History of Portland. 

Members — William Dellinger, D. Steinback, Isaac Foster, Charles Logus, Geo. F. 
Townsend, Thomas G. Young, J. G. Castle, Thomas Hartness, R. Fitzgerald, John D. 
Yates, Thomas Gleunon, Thomas Crowley, Peter Burk, James Mitchell, R. M. Smith, 
John Rose, Thomas Nealy, Alex. Dodge, Geo. W. McKinney, William H. Wetzell, 
James D. Kelly, C. Francis, J. J. Berlieu, Thomas L. Watson, C. Nolan, C. Blwert, 
John Thomas, J. S. B. Jewett, Charles Farley, T. C. Malone, A. M. Sharkey, Wm. D. 
Webster, A. B. Brannan, George A. Price, F. Fisher, C. B. Croute, J. Koenig. 

Protection Engine Company No. 4. Organized in November, 1862. 

Officers— Fred. W. Bell, foreman; James H. Rochford, first assistant; Henry G. 
Miller, second assistant; H. W. Davis, president; Morris Moskowitz, secretary, Samuel 
C.Mill, treasurer. 

Members — Henry Ballou, Fred Dorre, A. Rosenheim, K. Thomas, John D. Thorn- 
ton, Robert Murray, B. Hangren, T. Johnson, G. McKibben, J. W. Payne, John 
Walker, H. Bngel, John Lawler, S. Iv. Shwarts, R. Hendrie, M. Aron, Robert Dale, 
J. Hardy, J. B. King, John Godfrey, John Burns, Leon Girardot, Dan. J. Mularke, 
Ferdinand Opitz, Charles Mappes, W. N. Patten. 

Vigilance Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. 

Officers— M. Jaretzsky, foreman; James Farrell, first assistant; John Ewry, second 
assistant; J. McCraken, president; B. W. McGraw, secretary; B. G. Randall, 

Members — F. M. Arnold, Frank Dekum, C. F. Keuhn, A. Strong, Peter Bern, J. 
Donovan, M. M. Lucas, M. Seller, A. Baer, D. Farg Ally, B. Lownois, C. Schuch, W. 
Baker, H. Gans, T. J. Holmes, J. W. Smith, O. K. Blakely, C. A. Haas, L. R. Martin, 
Thomas M. Temple, George Bottler, J. B. Harker, W. Marony, J. Thompson, L. 
Cahn, D. H. Hendee, P. McQuade, T. Wethered, J. Cohen, G. L. Henry, V. Paris. 
N. Weisenberger, G. T. Cooper, H. Hymen, Geo. C. Robbins, B. Zatfudes. 

In 1865 Joseph Buchtel was Chief. The Willamette No. 1 
numbered 52 members; the Multnomah Company, 47; the Columbian, 
50; the Protection, 48; the Hook and Ladder Company, 48; and 
the Exempts, 32. 

In 1866 the offices were Thos. G. Young, W. H. Weed and Wm. 
T. Patterson. In 1867, Thos. G. Young, W. H. Weed, Wm. W. 
Witsell. The latter Chiefs are found in the list of the city officers, 
given above. 

As the city grew larger and the years passed, it was deemed 
better not to depend upon volunteer companies, but to maintain a 
regular paid fire department. In 1882 this was organized, and in 
1883 H. D. Morgan, who still serves, was appointed Chief. Under 
this management the loss by fire has been greatly reduced, as shown 
by the following: 1883, the total loss by fire was $319,092.20; 

Health Department. 187 

1884, $403,851.90; 1885, $59,329.73; 1886, $98,146.16; 1887, 
$84,173.72; 1888, $54,347.70. In 1889, but little over $20,000. 
The city is well supplied with alarm boxes and the alarm tele- 
graph. It has 123 hydrants (1888) connecting both with the Water 
Works and the mains of the Hydraulic Elevator Company; it has 71 
cisterns, aggregating a capacity of 1,312,000 gallons, and 6,200 feet 
of hose and 22 horses. Engines and trucks fully sufficient for each 
company are supplied. There are two hose companies, two hook 
and ladder companies, and four engine companies, numbering 22 of 
the permanent uniformed force and 58 of the members at call, or 80 
in all. The current expenses of 1888 were $58,034.79, of which 
$37,893.59 were spent for salaries; the Chief receiving $2,000, 
engineer of steamers, $1,200; Superintendent of Fire Alarm, $1,500; 
Secretary, $1,200; and the others from $900 down to $240 for 
members at call. The property held in trust by the Commissioners 
is valued at $202,277.60. Something like $70,000 per year is 
required to operate the Department. The great need of the present 
is a fire boat, and to require all buildings of three stories or more to 
be supplied with pipe stands and fire escapes — the latter being useful 
to the firemen as well as to the inmates. 

The present Commissioners are James L,otan, T. B. Trevett and 
George L,. Story. The Chief Engineer is H. D. Morgan, and the 
Superintendent of Fire Alarm Telegraph, J. A. Coffee, jr. 


By city ordinance this is connected with the Police Department, 
every policeman being a health officer. A City Physician, with 
power to inspect all buildings, ships and trains, is employed, and 
necessary power of quarantine, as prescribed by charter, is exerted by 
the Council. A City Hospital is maintained. A Poor House and 
Farm for the indigent, incompetent and unable is provided. It is 
located a few miles west of the town, on a beautiful and salubrious 
site. The Chinese lepers — of which there have been a number — 
have been kept at this place. A pest house, also in a proper place, 
is owned and operated. 

188 History of Portland. 

water works. 

The necessity of a sufficient supply of pure water for the city was 
early recognized, and by the first charter the city was authorized to 
build and operate water works. In preference, however, to carrying 
on this work by supervision of the municipality, a water company 
was formed and invested with power to conduct the business. 
Works were erected in 1851, the supply of water being from the 
springs in hills near town, which were sufficient for all needs. 
Within a number of years the old wooden works were superceded by 
a capacious and well constructed reservoir of brick and stone on 
Fourth street. As the city increased in population and the consump- 
tion of water became great, the springs failed to meet the demand, 
and recourse was had to the Willamette, from which an increasingly 
large proportion has been pumped, until it is now practically the 
sole source. While in the Spring and Autumn the water of our 
river is remarkably pure and wholesome, it is very liable to pollution 
from the sewerage of towns from up the river, from the general 
drainage of the valley, and in the Summer freshet of the Columbia 
by the sewerage of Portland itself, as it is carried up the river by the 
backward-setting current, sometimes caused by the rapid rise of the 
stream below. Moreover, it is thick with mud during times of 
Winter freshets. The pumping apparatus has been placed some 
three miles above the city, and the water is drawn deep from the bed 
of the stream. 

Some years since the reservoir on Tenth street was abandoned for 
a larger one, built on Seventh and Lincoln streets, near the foot of 
the hill, at a much greater elevation. The circle of buildings on the 
skirts of the hills, still above the reservoir, is supplied from small 
reservoirs which are fed by springs and located conveniently in the 

Great efforts have been made to provide for bringing an inex- 
haustable supply of presumably fresh and pure water from some one 
of the many streams of the Cascade mountains. The enterprise 
which calls for an expenditure of not less than $5,000,000 has met 
with temporary reverses, but will not be much longer delayed. 

Pubuc Buildings. 189 

After many years trial of the method of water supply by a private 
company, it was seen that this was not the most economical. It was 
also generally recognized that an article like water, an absolute 
necessity of life, ought not to be subject to private monopoly. 
Accordingly, by legislative act, in 1885, the city, was fully empowered 
to provide water works of its own. A committee was appointed by 
this act, consisting of the following men, then residents of Portland: 
John Gates, F. C. Smith, C. H. Lewis, Henry Failing, W. S. Ladd, 
Frank Dekum, L. Fleischner, H. W. Corbett, W. L. K. Smith, J. 
Loewenberg, S. G. Reed, R. B. Knapp, L. Therkelson, Thomas M 
Richardson and A. H. Johnson. They were to be a permanent body, 
with plenary power, and independent of all others, filling vacancies 
in their number by their own act. Bonds to the amount of $500,000 
might be issued by them for purchasing or building works, and 
laying mains and pipes. The plant of the old company was acquired 
with the new reservoir on Lincoln and Seventh streets. Under the 
present management it is intended to charge rates only sufficient to 
meet expenses. The receipts for 1888 were $79,530.09 and 
disbursements, $78,524.85, including $25,000 interest on $500,000 
bonds. The management is efficient and economical. Mr. Henry 
Failing is president and Mr. P. C. Schuyler, clerk of the committee. 


The buildings belonging to the city are not imposing, having 
been erected some time ago, before the best structures in the city 
were built. 

To the Fire Department belong ten houses, ordinarily good. 
They are as follows: That of Engine Co. No. 1, south side of 
Morrison street, between First and Second, valued at $40,000 (house 
and lot); that of Engine Co. No. 2, west side of Second between Oak 
and Pine, valued at $20,000 (house and lot); that of Engine Co. No. 
3, south side of B, at intersection of Fifteenth street, valued at 
$10,000 (house and lot); that of Engine Co. No. 4 and Hook and 
Ladder Co. No. 2, between Montgomery and Mill streets, valued at 
$10,000 (house and lot); that of Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, east 
side of Fourth, supply building and bell tower, valued at $30,000; 

190 History of Portland. 

that of the old Couch Engine Co., valued at $5,000 (house and lot); 
that of Hose Co. No. 2, west side of First street between Madison and 
Jefferson streets, valued at $18,000 (house and lot). 

The building used for city jail and police station, court house, 
etc., on Oak street between Second and Third, is a substantial 
structure of stone, iron and brick of two stories. It is somewhat 
grim and stern in general appearance, but very well answers its 

The council chamber and the offices of the city government are in 
rented apartments on the corner of Washington and Third streets. 
Arrangements, however, for erecting a city hall to cost about 
$500,000, are already well advanced; a block on Fourth street, 
adjacent to Main — that now occupied by St. Helen's Hall — having 
been purchased for the purpose. 

From this brief sketch of the city government, it will be seen 
that it has been growing in complexity, and there has been a strong 
effort to arrange the duties and responsibilities in such a manner as 
to render the different departments measureably independent. To a 
degree this has been accomplished. The legislative body — council — 
has no dependence upon the executive or the judiciary. The 
judiciary — police judge — is connected rather with the mayor than 
with any other branch, while the military department or police are 
independent or directly responsible to the people. The mayor, by 
his power of appointment and veto of the council, exerts large 
influence; but being severed from the police, has no autocratic 
authority. His measures must prevail by reason of their wisdom or 
his personal influence. The treasurer is directly responsible to the 
people. The auditor is responsible to the council. The attorney, 
superintendent of streets and surveyor are responsible to the mayor. 
Combinations may, of course, be made between all these officers, but 
it is at least easy for the citizens to hold one impartial department 
against any combination. In case of rival parties or "rings," it 
will usually happen, as has hitherto more than once occurred, that 
one will hold one department while another holds another. It is 
difficult, too, for the Police Department, Fire Department and mayor, 
all measurably equal, to yield priority, especially in ill or corrupt 
designs, and jealousy has a tendency to bring about exposure. 

Mayors. 191 

The politics of the city are principally upon local questions, from 
the ambitious designs of rival leaders, who find it advantageous to 
use municipal elections for the larger field of State politics, or from 
the supposed intents of special forms of business. Many of the 
citizens stand aloof entirely, and the city elections commonly show a 
light vote. 

When national politics are involved, the city is Republican, and 
.the municipal tickets are usually nominated under the captions of 
the two great parties. 


Hugh D. O' Bryan, the first mayor of Portland, is described as 
u a man of tried probity and great force of character, and brought to 
the discharge of the duties of the work-a-day world an ample reserve 
of clear hard sense. ' ' He was born in Franklin County, Georgia, 
in 1813, and his boyhood was spent among the Cherokee Indians, 
among whom his father was a missionary. In the Spring of 1843 
he started from Arkansas for the almost mythical coast of the Pacific 
Ocean, and reached Oregon City in October. There he engaged in 
business for two years and then removed to Portland. When the 
Whitman massacre in 1847 called the men of Oregon to the field of 
battle, he went out as first lieutenant and gave a good account of 
himself in the campaign against the CayuSes. Returning home, he 
was elected mayor in 1851, but in 1852 changed his residence to 
Douglas County, whence he was soon after sent to the Territorial 
Legislature as a joint representative for the counties of Douglas and 
Umpqua. In 1860 he removed to Walla Walla Valley, and after- 
wards represented his county in the Legislature of Washington 

The second mayor of Portland, A. C. Bonnell, was born near 
Chatham, Morris county, New Jersey, in 1801. His father was a 
soldier of the Revolution. In 1848 he was engaged in mercantile 
pursuits in Cincinnati, but the tidal wave of popular excitement bore 
him away to San Francisco, where he landed November 1, 1849. He 
was recording clerk to Geary's administration until August following, 
when he came to Portland and immediately became connected with 


192 History of Portland. 

its commercial interests. He afterwards returned to San Francisco 
and was for many years the clerk and cashier of the Evening Bulletin 
Newspaper Company. 

Simon B. Marye, who served a short time under change of 
election in 1852, was a Virginian, having been born at Marye 
Heights, in the Old Dominion State — a place which became noted 
during the war of the Rebellion as a battle field. He came to 
Portland in 1850, and within a few years was united in marriage 
with the eldest daughter of Col. Chapman. He was a lawyer of 
ability and a man of influence in the early days. Before 1860 he 
went to the South Atlantic States, and espoused the cause of his 
section during the political strife succeeding. After the war he 
lived at St. Louis, Mo. , where he died upwards of twenty years ago. 

Josiah Failing, the third mayor, elected in 1854, was one of the 
men of the early day in our city who had the qualities to be among 
the number addressed in old Rome as "Conscript Fathers." In his 
face, bearing and interest in the young city he was distinctly fatherly, 
and had his heart in the public improvement of the community. He 
was much in earnest in regard to religious matters, being the first 
member of the Baptist Church of Portland, and gave diligent attention 
to the matter of public schools, of which he was a director during 
many terms. The children of Portland will always -speak his name, 
since the large public school building in Caruther's Addition is 
called for him. He belonged to an old New York family that settled 
at an early period in the Mohawk Valley, among the six nations of 
Indians friendly to the English. He was born July 9, 1806, at Fort 
Plain, Montgomery Co. , N. Y. In his youth he learned the trade of 
printing wall paper, and afterwards went to New York City to reside. 
There he married and remained until 1851, when he came out to 
Oregon. Reaching Portland he set up a mercantile business, 
importing goods direct from New York City, and laying the foun- 
dations of the present large firm of Corbett, Failing & Co. He was 
a very successful business man and enjoyed a most enviable reputation 
for integrity and uprightness. He died in Portland. 

W. S. Ladd, who was elected in 1854, has occupied so many 
positions, and has been for so long a central figure of our public and 

Mayors. 193 

commercial development, that for a full account of his life we must 
refer the reader to other parts of this book. His early years were 
spent in New Hampshire, and he improved all means of education 
and acquiring information, so that when in 1850 he came to Portland 
it was with broad business ideas that he began his operations. 

George W. Vaughn, elected in 1855, was a native of New Jersey, 
a man who in his prime was personally very handsome, with the full 
and imposing features of the middle coast people of the Atlantic 
seaboard. He began actively in commercial business and followed 
this successfully both in the Eastern States and Canada. He came 
to Portland in 1850 and established a hardware store. His invest- 
ments were made with good judgment and brought large returns. In 
1865 he built the large brick flour mill on Main street, which was 
burned in 1873. By that fire his losses were reckoned to be nearly 
two hundred thousand dollars; nevertheless they were not sufficient to 
bring him to insolvency. He died some years since at Portland. 

James O'Neill, who served as mayor three terms from 1856, was 
one of the most popular men that ever held the seat. He was from 
New York State, having been born at Duanesburg, in Schenectady 
County, in 1824. Of a business turn, he came out to Oregon in 
1853 and entered into mercantile pursuits at Oregon City. A few 
years later he came to Portland and managed all his affairs with 
success. Some time in the early sixties he accepted a government 
position as Indian agent at Fort Lapwai. He subsequently went to 
Cheweela, in government employment on the Colville reservation. 
At the last election in Stevens county he was chosen auditor, and now 
serves in that position. He is a brother of Daniel O'Neill, of our 
city, so long known as a navigator on the lower Willamette and 
Columbia rivers. 

A. M. Starr, elected in 1858, was a New Yorker by birth, and 
came to Portland as early as 1850, opening a stove and tin store on 
the block now occupied by the business house of Corbitt & Macleay. 
He was one of the parties to the famous suit of Stark vs. Starr. 

S. J. McCormick, who held the office next in succession, was 
from Ireland, and for many years infused into the life of our city 
much of his own native enthusiasm and humor. He first set up in 

194 History of Portland. 

business with a little job printing office in a room seven by nine on 
the west side of Front street between Washington and Alder. For 
many years McCormick's Almanac was a regular publication, and 
seemed to be a part of the on-goings of the city itself. It was a 
breezy little pamphlet and of much value throughout the State. In 
addition to his Almanac he began in 1863 the publication of a City 
Directory and continued this yearly until late in the seventies. The 
historians of Portland will ever be grateful to him for the information 
which he stored away in these volumes. He first came to Portland 
in 1851, having with him his wife and his wife's sister. The latter 
lady was then unmarried, but was afterwards joined in wedlock with 
Thomas Robinson, who lived upon the hill now known by his name 
on the southern side of the city. Mr. McCormick moved to San 
Francisco a number of years ago. 

George C. Robbins, elected in 1860, came to Portland in 1854 
and engaged in business as a jeweler. He brought with him a 
family. Some years since he removed from the city to Nevada. 

John M. Breck, who served in 1861, is at present one of our well 
known and active citizens. He was born in Philadelphia in 1828. 
At the age of sixteen he went out to Wisconsin, but in 1850, at the 
instance of Aspinwall, president of the Pacific Mail Steamship Co., 
took passage on the Columbia for Oregon. On this vessel he 
served as purser for the voyage, and brought a stock of goods. 
From 1852 until 1855 he was in business with W. S. Ogden, of 
New York, a well educated young man, nephew of Peter Skeen 
Ogden, of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1860 Mr. Breck received 
appointment as purser on the steamer Northerner of the Pacific Mail 
Steamship Company, which made the trip from San Francisco to 
Victoria, Olympia and Portland. On his second voyage he suffered 
shipwreck in this steamer, off Cape Mendocino, on Blunt' s Reef. 
Reaching Portland after this disaster, he accepted a position as 
shipping agent of the company, and remembers the immense cargoes 
of apples with which the steamships were loaded down — believing 
the estimates of shipments usually given as to that period, much too 
low. In 1862 he received unexpectedly the nomination as county clerk 
on the Union ticket and was elected over a very popular opponent. 

Mayors. 195 

With the exception of a few years in California, he has been in 
business in our city, and is still one of our most energetic business men. 

W. H. Farrar, the next in order, was a lawyer of ability and is 
said to have been a native of Massachusetts. While a citizen of 
Portland he was active in public affairs, giving evidence of somewhat 
larger mind and greater general ability than he usually chose to bring 
into action — but nevertheless bore his share of the burden and heat 
of the day. He served two terms. 

David' Logan, mayor in 1864, was a man of intense and brilliant 
mind, popular with the men of the city on account of his ready 
speech and familial* manners. His abilities as a lawyer were of the 
first order; as a political speaker his powers were unrivalled in his 
day, and his fame was co-extensive with the Northwest. He was 
three times the candidate of his party for congress, but at each time 
may be said to have ' 'led a forlorn hope, ' ' as the opposition was too 
strong to be overcome. About the year 1871 he retired from the 
practice of the law in Portland, took a farm in Yamhill county, and 
died there a few years later. 

In 1864-5, in 1865-6 and again in 1873-4, Henry Failing was 
mayor. For a full account of this representative man of the city the 
reader is referred to the biographical sketch in another part of this 

For sketch of T. J. Holmes, reference will be had to the biog- 
raphies at the close of the volume. 

Dr. J. A. Chapman was born in Allegheny county, New York, in 
1821. At an early age he began the study of medicine at Cuba, 
New York, and graduated from the medical college at Geneva, in 
that State, in 1846. In 1861, upon the breaking out of the war of 
the Rebellion, he placed his services at the disposal of the govern- 
ment, and was appointed army surgeon. After serving during a 
campaign at the South, he was transferred to an overland expedition 
and came with it to Oregon as acting surgeon, with rank of major. 
Returning to civil life he came to Portland and engaged in the 
practice of medicine with Dr. William H. Watkins. He filled three 
terms as mayor of Portland, and was also surgeon-general of the 
Oregon militia by appointment of Gov. L. F. Grover. 

196 History of Portland. 

Hamilton Boyd, who was mayor in 1868-69 ; came to Portland 
about the year 1860. He was reckoned a good man of business, 
became an assistant in the office of county clerk and shortly afterward 
took a position as leading accountant in the banking house of Ladd 
& Tilton. In 1868 he was elected county commissioner, and served 
two years. He was elected to the mayoralty by the common council 
to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas J. Holmes. Mr. 
Boyd died in Portland in 1886. 

B. Goldsmith, who was mayor in 1869-70 and 1870-1, is an old 
resident of the Pacific Coast. He came to California in 1851, thence 
to Oregon in 1856, and to Portland in 1861. He has been in 
business at Portland ever since. Throughout his career in this city 
he has been known as a man of business ability and energetic char- 
acter. He bore a leading part in bringing about construction of locks 
at Willamette- Falls, and later has been prominently connected with 
development of mining property in Northern Idaho. During many 
years he was at the head of a wholesale dry goods house in Portland. 
Mr. Goldsmith was born in Germany in 1832. 

Philip Wasserman, elected mayor in 1871, was born in Germany 
in 1827, and came to America in 1849. He has had an active life 
in mercantile pursuits. In 1858 he came to Portland, and still lives 
here. He served in the legislature of the State two terms. Declining 
further legislative honors, he was prevailed on to stand as a candidate 
for mayor, and was elected by a large majority. He was a careful 
and efficient mayor, but at the expiration of his term decided to 
withdraw from further service in office. Mr. Wasserman has always 
been known as a worthy and successful man of business, and is held 
in high esteem. 

W. S. Newbury, who was elected mayor in 1877, is one whose 
life has been spent much in the Old West, or interior, as well as upon 
the Pacific Coast. He was born at Ripley, N. Y., in 1834. In 
1850 he went to Chicago, engaging as salesman with one of the first 
firms of that city, on Lake street. Four years later he went to 
Wisconsin, and there pursued a course of study in law, completing 
his education at a commercial college. He soon accepted an impor- 
tant position as book-keeper and accountant, and afterwards became 

Mayors. 197 

manager of a large business at Sioux City, Iowa, for the Little 
American Fur Company, of St. Louis. Removing to Iola, Kansas, 
in 1860, he soon became identified with that town, some years later 
being elected mayor. He served in the Union army, and was assistant 
provost marshal of Kansas, and also assistant secretary of the State 
senate. He came to Oregon in 1870, settling at Portland in 1874. 
Until 1880 he conducted an extensive business in farm machinery, 
but since that date has been practicing law. 

David P. Thompson, one of the most widely known men in our 
State, was born in Harrison county, Ohio, in 1834. In his nine- 
teenth year he came to Oregon, driving sheep across the plains and 
walking every rod of the way. Upon his arrival at Oregon City in 
1853 he took a job of cutting cordwood, which lasted through the 
winter. Soon after he entered upon the profession of a surveyor, 
which he followed during several years. In pursuance of this business 
he acquired an unequaled knowledge of the northwestern country, and 
laid the foundation of his present ample fortune. He lived at Oregon 
City till 1876, when he removed to Portland. In 1879, and again 
in 1881, he was elected mayor, and gave the city a vigorous and 
efficient administration. Mr. Thompson, throughout his whole life, 
has been noted for activity and energy. He is a man of firm and 
positive character, tenacious of his purposes, active in business and 
successful in his undertakings. By appointment of President Grant 
he became governor of Idaho Territory in 1875, but resigned the 
office in 1876. He is now engaged in the banking business in 

John Gates, who was elected mayor in 1885, was a native of 
Maine. Born in 1827, he came to Portland in 1851, and passed all 
his active life here. His first situation was that of engineer at the 
steam saw-mill at the foot of Jefferson street. When the Oregon 
Steam Navigation Company was organized he became its chief 
engineer, and superintended the construction and the placing of the 
machinery in all its boats. He made many inventions, including 
one which produced almost a revolution in the construction of stern- 
wheel steamers. He devised the method, now known to be highly 
successful, of sluicing out the sand bars of navigable streams with 

198 History of Portland. 

powerful propellers, and invented a most excellent and successful 
apparatus for applying hydraulic power to the steering gear of 
steam vessels. Mr. Gates was a man of original mind and great 
industry. He died, while holding the office of mayor, in April, 

Van B. De Iyashmutt, now serving the second term, is a repre- 
sentative man of our city and time, of whom a full sketch will be 
found elsewhere. 

The following is the list of officers from the year 1851 to 1889, 
inclusive : 

1851— Mayor, Hugh D. O'Bryant; Recorder, W. S. Caldwell; Councilmen— Robert 
Thompson, Shubrick Norris, George A. Barnes, Thomas G. Robinson, L. B. 

1852— Mayor, A. C. Bonell, Recorder, S. S. Slater; Marshal, Wm. Grooms; Council- 
men — W. P. Abrams, A. P. Dennison, Thomas Pritchard, Abell G. Tripp, Hiram 
In November of that year by a new election, under change of charter, the following 

were chosen: Mayor, S. B. Marye; Recorder, C. B. Pillow; Councilmen — Shubrick 

Norris, Thomas Pritchard, Josiah Failing, P. A. Marquam, A. P. Dennison. 

1853 — Mayor, Josiah Failing; Recorder, A. C. Bonnell; Assessor, S. S. Slater; Treas- 
urer, W. H. Barnhart; Marshal, William Grooms; Councilmen —Robert 
Thompson, W. S. Ladd, John H. Couch, W. P. Abrams, R. N. McLaren, R. N. 
Field, Charles B. Pillow, H. W. Davis, Jonas Williams. 

1854 — Mayor, W. S. Ladd; Recorder, A. P. Dennison; Treasurer, Thomas Pritchard; 
Assessor, Charles P. Bacon; Marshal, W. L. Higgins; Councilmen —A. M. Starr, 
James Field jr., Shubrick Norris, Thomas Carter, William McMillan, A. D. 
Fitch, O. J. Backus, A. R. Shipley, James Turnbull. 

1855 — Mayor, George W. Vaughn; Recorder, L. Limerick; Marshal, Thomas J. 
Holmes; Assessor, W. S. Ogden; Treasurer, Thomas Frazer; Councilmen— George 
Kittridge, John Green, H. S. Jacobs, Matthew Patton, Lewis Love, John C. 
Carson, Thomas Hartness, B. B Calhoun, George C. Robbins. (Anthony L. 
Davis filled the position of Limerick, resigned). 

1856 — Mayor, James O'Neill; Recorder, A. L. Davis; Treasurer, Thomas A. Savier; 
Assessor, Z. N. Stansbury; Marshal, Thomas J. Holmes; Councilmen — Robert 
Porter, A. D. Shelby, A. B. Blfeldt, L- M. Starr, W. S. Ladd, William Beck, H. 
W. Davis, S. M. Smith, James Burke. 

1857— Mayor, James O'Neill; Recorder, A. L. Davis; Treasurer, T. N. Lakin; 
Assessor, J. M. Breck; Marshal, S. R. Holcomb; Councilmen— J. H. Couch, T. J. 
Holmes, A. B. Hallock, Charles Hutchins, P. Hardenburg, N. S. Coon, B. F. 
Goodwin, S. G. Reed, James M. Blossom. 

1858— Mayor, L. M. Starr; Recorder, Alonzo Leland; Treasurer, H. W. Corbett; 
Assessor, J. M. Breck; Marshal, S. R. IJolcomb; Port Warden, Z. N. Stansbury; 

Officers. 199 

Councilmen — George C. Robbins, A. P. Ankeny, C. P. Bacon, T. N. Lakin, R. 
Porter, T. J. Holmes, J. C. Carson, William King, C. S. Kingsley. 

1859 — Mayor, S. J. McCormick; Recorder, Noah Huber; Treasurer, John McCraken; 
Assessor, William Kapus; Marshal, J. H. Lappeus; Port Warden, Daniel 
Wright; Councilmen — A. B. Hallock, J. M. Vansyckle, J. Davidson, A. D. Shelby, 
M. M. Lucas, J. C. Hawthorne, B. D. Shattuck, A. C. R. Shaw, John Blanchard. 

i860— Mayor, George C. Robbins; Recorder, O. Risley; Treasurer, H. Wasserman; 
Assessor, James W. Going; Marshal, James H. Lappeus; Councilman— J. C. 
Ainsworth, J. Davidson, A. B. Hallock, A. D. Shelby, M. M. Lucas, W. L. 
Higgins, A. C. R. Shaw, B. D. Shattuck, Jacob Stitzel. 

1861 — Mayor, J. M. Breck; Recorder, O. Risley; Treasurer, H. Wasserman; Marshal, 
William Grooms; Assessor, James W. Going; Councilmen— John McCraken, A. B. 
Hallock, F. Harbaugh, W. L. Higgins, W. C. Hull, William M. King, B. R. 
Scott, William Masters, . John S. White. (S. B. Barr filled vacancy of Scott, 

1862— Mayor, W. H. Farrar; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Marshal, William Grooms; 
Treasurer, H. B. Morse; Assessor, R. J. Ladd; Councilmen — First Ward, Thomas 
A. Davis, Thomas J. Holmes, A. B. Hallock; Second Ward, O. Risley, J. M. 
Breck, A. P. Dennison; Third Ward, S. Coffin, C. S. Silvers, A. G. Walling. 

1863— Mayor, W. H. Farrar; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Treasurer, H. B. Morse; 
Marshal, William Grooms; Deputies, A. B. Brannan, F. M. Arnold; Assessor, O. 
Risley; Collector, J. F. McCoy; Street Commissioner, A. B. Stewart; City 
Surveyor, A. B. Hallock; President of Council, O. Risley; Clerk, H. Boyd; 
Councilmen— First Ward, T. J. Holmes, A. B. Hallock, N. Williams; Second 
Ward, O. Risley, A. P. Dennison; Third Ward, S. Coffin, C. S. Silvers, A. G. 

1863-4 (elected in April, 1863)— Mayor, David Logan; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Treas- 
urer, O. Risley; Marshal, W. B. Clark; Deputies, T. C. Foreman, J. N. Skidmore; 
Assessor, F. C. Pomeroy; Collector, J. F. McCoy; Street Commissioner, Daniel 
Wright; Surveyor, A. B. Hallock; President of Council, John M. Sutton; Clerk, 
H, Boyd; Councilmen — First Ward, Al Zieber, H. Saxer, Alex. Dodge; Second 
Ward, John W. Sutton, I. A. Austin, P. S. Watson; Third Ward, M. M. Lucas, 
Joseph Knott, David Monastes. 

1864-5 — Mayor, Henry Failing; Recorder, J. F. McCoy; Treasurer, H. B. Morse; 
Assessor, J. W. Going; Auditor, H. R. Meeker; Street Commissioner, Nelson 
Northrup; Surveyor, C. W. Burrage; Attorney, J. N. Dolph; Marshal, Henry S. 
Hoyt; Councilmen — First Ward, James W. Cook, John McCraken, A. M. Starr; 
Second Ward, Wm. H. Bennett, J. J. Hoffman, Thos. Robertson; Third Ward, 
Thos. Frazer, S. N. Gilmore, Israel Graden. 

1865-6 — Mayor, Henry Failing; Recorder, J. J. Hoffman; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; 
Assessor, S. A. Moreland; Anditor and Clerk, H. R. Meeker; Street Commis- 
sioner, Samuel Simmons; Surveyor, C. W. Burrage; Attorney, J. N. Dolph; 
Marshal, H. L. Hoyt; Councilmen— First Ward, John McCraken, P. C. Schuyler, 
R. R. Thompson; Second Ward, B. S. Morgan, S. A. Clarke, A. Rosenheim; Third 
Ward, J. P. O. Lownsdale, O. P. S. Plummer, S. M. Gilmore. 

200 History of Portland. 

1866-7— Mayor, Thos. J. Holmes; Recorder, J. J. Hoffman; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; 
Assessor, S. A. Moreland; Auditor and Clerk, Ralph Wilcox; Street Commis- 
sioner, H. W. Davis; Surveyor, C. W. Burrage; Attorney, W. W. Upton; Marshal, 
Henry L. Hoyt; Councilmen— First Ward, John McCraken, A. B. Hallock, Al. 
Zieber; Second Ward, A.Rosenheim, M. O'Connor; C. H. Fechheimer; Third 
Ward, J. P. O. Lownsdale, T. J. Carter, J. C. Carson. 

1867-8 — Mayor, J. A. Chapman; Recorder, J. J. Hoffman; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; 
Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Assessor, H. H. Johnston; Street Commis- 
sioner, Wm. McMillan; Attorney, D. Freidenrich; Surveyor, G. H. Belden; 
Chief Engineer of Fire Department, W. H. Weed; Marshal, D. Jacobi; Coun- 
cilmen — First Ward, A. B. Hallock, J. McCraken, A. C. Ripley; Second Ward, 
C. S. Fechheimer, R. Porter, A. Rosenheim; Third Ward, L. Besser, C. D. Burch, 
M. F. Mulky. 

1868-9— Mayor, Hamilton Boyd; Recorder, O. Risley; Treasurer, C. P. Ferry; 
Assessor, H. H. Johnston ; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell ; Street Commis- 
sioner, Joseph Tucker; Surveyor, W. S. Morris; Attorney, W. F. Trimble; Chief 
Engineer of the Fire Department, W. H. Weed; Marshal, J. H. Lappeus; Coun- 
cilmen— First Ward, A. B. Hallock, Wm. Cree, A. C. Ripley; Second Ward, J. M. 
Breck, R. Porter; Third Ward, C. D. Burch, L. Besser, Chas. Hopkins. 

1869-70 — Mayor, B. Goldsmith; Recorder, Levi Anderson; Treasurer, E. D. 
Backenstos; Assessor, Oscar Kilburn; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Street 
Commissioner, Jacob Shartle; Surveyor, H. J.Stevenson; Attorney, C. A. Dolph; 
Chief Engineer of Fire Department, Robert Holman; Marshal, Joseph Saunders; 
Councilmen— First Ward, C. Bills, Wm. Cree, A. C. Ripley; Second Ward, J. M. 
Breck, R. Porter, W. Moffett; Third Ward, D. C. Lewis, L. Besser, Chas. Hopkins. 

1870-1— Mayor, B. Goldsmith; Police Judge, D. C. Lewis; Treasurer, E. D. Back- 
enstos; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, C. A. Dolph; Assessor, O. 
Kilburn; Street Commissioner, J. F. Shartle; Surveyor, H. J. Stevenson; Coun- 
cilmen— First Ward, Wm. Cree, C. Bills, A. B. Hallock; Second Ward, John M. 
Breck, W. Moffett, J. B.Congle; Third Ward,W. Lair Hill, J. M. Drake, L. Besser. 

1871-2 — Mayor, Phillip Wasserman; Police Judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, E. B. 
Backenstos; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, C. A. Ball; Assessor, 
J. M. Breck; Street Commissioner, A. J. Marshall; Surveyor, H. J. Stevenson; 
Councilmen — First Ward, George L. Story, A. B. Halleck, E. M. Burton; Second 
Ward, W. Moffett, J. B. Congle, J. M. Caywood; Third Ward, R. G. Combs, L. 
Besser, W. Lair Hill. 

1872-3 — Mayor, Philip Wasserman; Police Judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, E. D. 
Backenstos; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, M. F. Mulky; Assessor, 
J. M. Breck; Street Commissioner, A. J. Marshall; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman. 
Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus; Councilmen — First Ward, A. B. Hallock, E. M. 
Burton, Geo. L. Story; Second Ward, J. B. Congle, J. M. Caywood, E. F. Russell; 
Third Ward, L. Besser, W. Lair Hill, J. C. Moreland. 

1873-4— Mayor, H. Failing; Police Judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, L. H. Lewis; 
Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, M. F. Mulkey; Assessor, J. W. 
Going; Superintendent of Streets, R. A. Habersham; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; 

Officers. 201 

Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus; Councilmen — First Ward, B. M. Burton, George 
L. Story, G. W. Hoyt; Second Ward, J. M. Cay wood, B. F. Russell, J. H. Lyon; 
Thiri Ward, W. Lair Hill, J. C. Moreland, L. Besser. 

1874-5-— Mayor, Henry Failing; Police judge, O. N. Denny; Treasurer, L. H. Lewis; 
Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Attorney, A. C.Gibbs; Assessor, J. W. Going; 
Superintendent of Streets, Perry W. Davis; Surveyor, D. W. Taylor. Councilmen 
—First Ward, R. R. Thompson, Geo. L. Story, G. W. Hoyt; Second Ward, John 
Catlin, B. T. Russell, J. H. Lyon; Third Ward, B. Corbett, J. C. Moreland, L. 

1875-6— Mayor, J. A. Chapman; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; treasurer, Joseph Bach- 
man; Assessor, Andrew Hill; Auditor and Clerk, W.S.Caldwell; Superintendent 
of Streets, Perry W. Davis; Surveyor, Douglas W. Taylor; Attorney, John M. 
Gearin; Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus. Councilmen — First Ward, George W. 
Hoyt, H. D. Sandborn, J. R. Wiley; Second Ward, William H. Andrus, John 
Catlin, S. G. Skidmore; Third Ward, L. Besser, Blijah Corbett, B. J. W. 

1 876- 7— Mayor, J. A. Chapman; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; Treasurer, Joseph 
Bachman; Assessor, W, S. Chapman; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Super- 
intendent of Streets, William Showers; Surveyor, Douglas W. Taylor; Attorney, 
John Gearin. Councilmen — First Ward, Thomas Stephens, D. F. Harrington, J. 
R. Wiley; Second Ward, W. H. Andrus, S. Blumauer, S. G. Skidmore; Third 
Ward, Noah Lambert, Blijah Corbett, B. J. W. Stemme. 

1877-8 — Mayor, W. S. Newberry; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; Treasurer, Joseph 
Bachman; Assessor, R. H. Love; Auditor and Clerk, W. S. Caldwell; Superinten- 
dent of Streets, D. B. Budd; Surveyor, Douglas W. Taylor; Attorney, J. C. 
Moreland; Chief of Police, L. Besser. Councilmen — First Ward, Thomas 
Stephens, F. Opitz, J. R. Wiley; Second Ward, W. H. Andrus, Joseph Simon, S. 
G. Skidmore; Third Ward; Noah Lambert, G. W. Yocum, B. J. W. Stemme. 

1878-9 — Mayor, W. S. Newbury; Police Judge, W. H. Adams; Treasurer, Joseph 
Bachman; Assessor, R. H. Love; Auditor and Clerk, R. L. Durham; Superinten- 
dent of Streets, W. Braden; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Attorney, J. C. Moreland, 
Chief of Police, L. Besser. Councilmen — First Ward, Thomas Stephens, F. 
Opitz, J. W. Payne; Second Ward, William H. Andrus, Joseph Simon, B. H. 
Stolte; Third Ward, Noah Lambert, G. W. Yocum, H. Weber. 

1879-80 — Mayor, D. P. Thompson; Police Judge, L. B. Stearns; Treasurer, Joseph 
Bachman; Assessor, W. J. Kelley; Auditor and Clerk, R. L. Durham; Surveyor, 
W. S. Chapman; Attorney, J. C. Moreland; Chief of Police, J. H. Lappeus. 
Councilmen — First Ward; F. Opitz, J. W. Payne, R.Gerdes; Second Ward, Joseph 
Simon, B. H. Stoltze, T. L.Nicklin; Third Ward, J. F. Watson, J. S. Keller, H. 

1880-1 — Mayor, D. P. Thompson; Police Judge, L. B. Stearns; Treasurer, Joseph 
Bachman; Auditor and Clerk, R. L. Durham; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Attor- 
ney, J. C. Moreland; Street Superintendent, William Braden. Councilmen — First 
Ward, J. S. Raleigh, R. Gerdes, Henry Hewett; Second Ward; B. H. Stolte, 
T. L. Nicklin, W. A. Andrus; Third Ward, H. Weber, J. S. Keller, J. B. Kellogg. 

1881-2 — Mayor, D. P. Thompson; President of Council, W. B. Honeyman; Auditor, 
R. L. Durham; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, J. C. Moreland; Surveyor, 

202 History of Portland. 

D. W. Taylor; Superintendent of Streets, William Braden; Deputy Superinten- 
dent of Streets, J. H. Phirman; Police Judge, Iy. B. Stearns; Chief of Police, 
J. H. L,appeus. Councilmen — First Ward, Henry Hewett, J. S. Raleigh, Richard 
Gerdes; Second Ward, T. L. Nicklin, Charles Holmm, W. Iy. Chittenden; Third 
Ward, J. B. Kellogg, J. S. Keller, W. B. Honeyman. 

1882-3— Mayor, J. A. Chapman; President of Council, W. B. Honeyman; Auditor, 
M. F. Spencer; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, S. W. Rice; Surveyor, 
D. W. Taylor; Superintendent of Streets, William Braden; Deputy Superinten- 
dent of Streets, W. F. Matthews; Police Judge, S. A. Moreland; Chief of Police, 
J. H. Lappeus. Councilmen — First Ward, Henry Hewitt, D. Mackay, J. B. 
Smith; Second Ward, W. S. Scoggin, Charles Holman, W. Iy. Chittenden; Third 
Ward, J. B. Kellogg, W. H. Adams, W. B. Honeyman. 

1883-4— Mayor, J. A. Chapman; President of Council, W. H. Adams; Auditor and 
Clerk, R. B. Curry; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, R. M. Dement; 
Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Superintendent of Streets, A. F. Sears; Deputy 
Superintendent of Streets, W. F. Burke; Police Judge, S. A. Moreland; Chief of 
Police, W. H. Watkinds. Councilmen— First Ward, R. Gerdes, J. B. Hailey, 
J. B. Smith; Second Ward, W. A. Scoggin, W. H. Andrus, W. L. Chittenden; 
Third Ward; A. F. Sears, Jr., W. H. Adams, W. B. Honeyman. 

1884-5 — Mayor, J. A. Chapman; President of Council, W. H. Adams; Auditor, R. B. 
Curry; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, A. H. Tanner; Surveyor, W. S. 
Chapman; Superintendent of Streets, F. B. Vaughn, Deputy, W. S. Broocke. 
Police Judge, S. A. Moreland; Chief of Police, S. B. Parrish; Councilmen — First 
Ward, R. Gerdes, J. J. Holland, J. B. Smith; Second Ward, W. A. Scoggin, W. 
H. Andrus, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, A. F. Sears, Jr., W. H. Adams, Wm. 

1885-6 — Mayor, John Gates; President of Council, Wm. Fliedner; Auditor and Clerk, 
B. Iy. Norden; Attorney, A. H. Tanner; Surveyor, W. S. Chapman; Street Com- 
missioner, F. B. Vaughn; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Police Judge; R. M. 
Dement; Chief of Police, S. B. Parrish. Councilmen — First Ward, R. . Gerdes, 
J. J. Holland, J. J. Gallagher; Second Ward, S. Farrell, W. H. Andrus, C. M. 
Forbes; Third Ward, A. F. Sears, Jr., F. Hacheny, Wm. Fliedner. 

1886-7— Mayor, John Gates; President of Council, Sylvester Farrell; Auditor, W. H. 
Wood; Treasurer, D. C. McKercher; Attorney, A. H. Tanner; Superintendent of 
Streets, W. S. Chapman; Surveyor, B. W. Paget; Police Judge, Ralph Dement; 
Chief of Police, S, B Parrish; Councilmen— First Ward, R. Gerdes, J. J. Holland. 
J. J. Gallagher; Second Ward, S. Farrell, R. H. Schwab, C. M. Forbes; Third 
Ward, Tyler Woodward, F. Hacheny, Wm. Fleidner. 

1887-8— Mayor, John Gates; President of Council, C. M. Forbes; Auditor, W. H. 
Wood; Treasurer, H. W. Monnastes; Attorney, W. H. Adams; Surveyor, B. W. 
Paget; Superintendent of Streets, W. S. Chapman; City Physician, F. B. Perry; 
Councilmen — First Ward, R. Gerdes, C. Castendieck; J. J. Gallagher; Second 
Ward, S. Farrell, R. H. Schwab, C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, Tyler Woodward, 
F. Hacheney, Wm. Fleidner; Police Judge. Ralph M. Dement; Chief of Police, 
S. B. Parrish. 

1888-9— Mayor, Van B. Delyashmutt; Treasurer, H.W. Monnastes; Auditor and Clerk, 
W. H. Woods; Attorney, W. H. Adams; Superintendent of Streets, W. S. Chap- 

i># tylCWlhiMs yBm-iff 

W^ytf ^CU^^^^^^ 

Street Improvements. 203 

man; Surveyor, E. W. Paget; City Physician, F. A. Meyer; Police Judge, A. H. 
Tanner; Chief of Police, S. B. Parrish; Overseer of Street Cleaning and Sprink- 
ling, S. B. Matthews; Deputy Auditor and Clerk, Walter Matthews; Deputy 
Superintendents of Streets, W. E. Mulhollam, William E. Braden, William Con- 
ner; Assistant Surveyor, D. S. Whitfield. Councilmen — First Ward, C. 
Castendieck, R. Gerdes, Richard Hoyt; Second Ward, S. Farrell, R. H. Schwab, 
C. M. Forbes; Third Ward, Tyler Woodward, William Showers, William Flied- 
ner. President of the Council, Tyler Woodward. 


The first streets were laid out in 1845, parallel with the river, 
which here flows a few degrees east of north, and were thereby 
defle6ted to the same extent from the points of the compass. Front 
street was then a part of the levee, and extended to the Willamette, 
making a broad landing place for the equal use of all residents. 
But four streets were at first laid out. They were numbered First, 
Second, etc. , and were but 60 feet in width. The side streets of the 
same width, were named Washington, Alder, Morrison and Taylor, 
being christened by Pettygrove, as is thought. It was natural to 
name the first for the great president ; ' 'Alder' ' probably was derived 
from a tree of that species at its foot; "Morrison," was in honor of a 
resident of that name, living on the street; "Salmon," named later, 
was for the senior partner of the firm of Salmon & Elliot, of San 
Francisco; and * 'Taylor" was without doubt to signify the Whig- 
politics of the city. As the city was extended in 1849, surveyed by 
Short, and mapped by Brady, it became natural to use the ordinals to 
designate the north and south streets, and to the cross streets the 
names of presidents were applied with no thought of mnemonic value 
for the school children, giving us "Jefferson," Harrison," etc. 
"Clay" was probably named by some one who thought that the great 
Kentuckian ought to have been president. "Stark" was fromBenjamin 
Stark, who owned the site from that street north to "A." The names 
"Oak," "Pine" and "Ash" were naturally suggested by "Alder." 
Upon the addition of Couch's donation claim all effort to think up 
names significant or pretty was discarded, and with the barrenness of 
nomenclature for which Americans are remarkable, the letters of the 
alphabet were used for the cross streets, making in truth a convenient 

204 History of Portland. 

method for finding blocks, and when the Roman letters are exhausted 
we hope to see the Greek and Hebrew applied. 

On the environs of the city, as the streets were multiplied, the 
names of early pioneers have been bestowed, such as "Chapman," 
< 'Lownsdale, ' ' ' 'Carruthers, ' ' < 'Corbett, ' ' etc. North Portland is laid 
out by the point of compass and South Portland is also square with the 
north star. The east and west streets are all 60 feet broad, excepting 
A, which is but 30 — Stark not meeting Couch half way, when the latter 
laid out his claim. From Third street the width of the streets north 
and south is 80 feet, except East and West Park, which are but half 
of this. Such narrowness would be fatal, but for this one thing — 
that between East and West Park are the park blocks, 120 feet in 
width, and, except for a small distance in the center of the city, are 
entirely free. These are of little value as parks, but will make, 
together with the streets on each side, a splendid avenue 200 feet 
broad, from one end of the city to the other — barring the encumbran- 
ces from Yamhill to B, which may be removed. An avenue 125 
feet broad leads down to the water front in North Portland, and 
this and the park boulevard will become the common center for motor 
lines and driveways. Properly ornamented, provided with fountains, 
statues, arches, seats for the strollers, and shade trees, it will become 
the pride and joy of Portland. This prediction — made by another — 
will be fulfilled. 

The bend of the river, determining the course of the streets, 
gives Portland, particularly upon the map, the irregularity of 
appearance that Europeans contend is picturesque — or at least like 
their capitals. By reason of the undulating face of the hills to the 
west the uniformity of straight lines and parallels is still further 
prevented. The blocks on all the Heights are so laid off as to best 
suit the knolls and hollows, and to make the grades of the streets as 
easy as the incline will allow. In this manner the curves of the 
hills are preserved in the streets, and the "line of beauty" cannot be 
banished, even by force. In time this will cause the residence 
portion of the city to assume a striking grandeur of appearance, and 
stimulate the erection of buildings, and the beautifying of grounds, 
on a style and scale to consort with the requirements of the 

Street Improvements. 205 

topography. There is something in having a site which forbids the 
geometrical homeliness into which the crudely civilized so insensibly 

Some sort of improvement of streets early began to be imperative 
Digging stumps was the first, and the millionaire now lives who 
worked out road taxes by removing the roots of a fir tree from the 
highway in front of his store. The surface was also vrey irregular, 
from gulches, knolls, hummocks formed by the roots of fallen trees, 
and by the hollows or pits left by the lifting of the soil beneath. 
All these inequalities were to be remedied, and the work was early 
undertaken. The grading of the streets was heavy and expensive. 

Immediately following was the paving. During the soft months 
the mellow bfown soil was quickly cut into mire, and trodden into, 
mortar. Planks were first used. In about 1858 a macadam road 
was built out to the Red House, some three miles south, the first of 
its kind in the State. In 1865 the Nicholson pavement was laid 
on Front and First streets, and for a number of years was in great 
favor. It soon began to fail, however, due either to improper 
construction, or to the extremes of moisture and dryness of our 
seasons, and quickly fell into condemnation. In the' June floods, 
moreover, which occasionally overflowed the levee part of the city, it 
had to be weighted down with rock to be kept in place. As this 
pavement gave away, the Belgian block was substituted, and now 
prevails on Front, First and Second streets, from G street on the 
north, to Jefferson street (with some exception on Second street) on 
the south. It is a block clipped or split out from the basalt along the 
river, the principal quarry being near St. Helens. It is obtained in 
brick-shaped pieces, some 4x10x15 inches. The stone is hard and 
when evenly laid makes a firm, but noisy, road. By constant use, 
however, the corners of the blocks are worn down, making a sort of 
cobble stone surface, which is slippery and difficult of hold to horses 
drawing heavy loads. Owing to the non-uniformity of the ground 
beneath, as to firmness, the old sections are becoming warped, with 
hollows and bunches. The constant lifting of the blocks to repair 
sewer and water pipes, or for street railway purposes, has also worked 
toward an uneven surface. 

206 History of Portland. 

A short piece of bituminous rock pavement has been laid on 
Washington street, and as affording a very easy, neat and quiet 
surface is far in advance of all else, but it has not proved substantial. 

The rest of the streets are macadamized. The material, made 
from the andesite rock of the hills near by, is rather soft, and a little 
hard wear reduces it, under exposure of the weather, to fine dust, 
which is washed into the sewers or carted off with the street sweep- 
ings. Much of the macadamizing has been cheaply and improperly 
done, and the recommendation of Street Commissioner Chapman that 
heavier rollers be used in compacting the work should be heeded. 
It is hardly excusable to use improper material, since the hardest of 
basalt, limestone, and even granite, may be obtained — although not 
without added expense. Much consideration has been given to the 
use of gravel, which exists in immense deposits near East Portland, 
and is extensively laid on her streets. A proper assortment of 
boulders, coarse and fine gravel, with sand intermixed, is believed to 
afford the best of road beds, and will perhaps be tried. 

Cross-walks of the streets are of plank or slabs of stone, the latter 
a foot or more in breadth by some four or five in length, laid treble. 
Many of them are of granite, brought from England or China in 
ships as ballast, being most cheaply obtained in that manner. 

The sidewalks in the business portion of the city are of stone 
squares, quarried from the hills, or, now almost universally, of the 
artificial stone, manufactured from sand. This is handsome and dur- 
able. Brick, with concrete dressing of fine gravel, was used a little in 
old times, and now remains on a few walks on Front street. The manu- 
factured stone is used extensively around the blocks occupied by fine 
residences, but for the most part the walks are of plank. Quite 
frequently they are made too broad for beauty, especially on the 
upper streets, but the most are not thus cumbrous, and a space for 
turf is left between the foot- walk and the pavement, giving relief 
from the glare and hardness of aspect which is painful to the eye and 
offensive to the taste. 

In 1885 there were fifty-two and one-half miles of improved 
streets — thirty miles macadamized, three Belgian blocks, three and 
one-fourth planks, sixteen and one-fourth graded only. There were 

Car Links. 207 

one hundred miles of sidewalks, sixteen and one-half of wooden cross- 
walks, nearly two of stone and over two miles of trestles. 

In 1886 about nine miles of new sidewalks were built, a mile of 
cross-walks, a mile of macadamized, three-fourths of a mile of pave- 
ment, six miles of plank roadway, quarter of a mile of bridging, and 
two miles of grading. 

In 1887, sidewalks, ten and a quarter miles; cross-walks, two; 
macadamized, one and three-quarters; bridging, one-half; grading, 
four; sewers, three. 

In 1888 were built, sidewalks, ten miles; cross-walks, one and a 
half; macadamized, two and three-quarters; bridging, one-half; 
grading, four and three-quarters; sewers, three; bituminous rock 
pavement, two hundred feet. 

These figures represent a large expenditure, and show an attempt 
to fulfill the requirements of the city. In the main, the streets look 
well and are kept tolerably clean. The greatest need is a proper 
crematory, or incinerary, to consume the refuse and garbage. 


Portland is well supplied with this necessity of rapid transit from 
one point to the other. The first track was laid in 1872, on First 
street, from the Clarendon Hotel — then new — and the railroad station 
at the foot of F street to the vicinity of Jefferson street on the south. 
This has been subsequently extended to South Portland. Some 
years later the Third street double track was laid, now extending 
from the Marquam gulch on the south to G street on the north, and 
up that street to Twenty-first on the west, with a branch to North 
Portland. The Washington street line— double track — then followed, 
with branches to south and north respectively on Eleventh and 
Fifteenth streets. This leads into B street and out to the Exposition 
building and the City Park. A line beginning on Morrison street 
leads into Ninth street and on to B, with a return on Yamhill to 
Front. A cable road extends from Front by Alder to Fifth, reaching 
Jefferson, and proceeds thence to the Heights. An electric road makes 
a continuous line from G street to Fulton Park, three miles, on Second 

208 History of Portland. 

street. Entering by the Morrison street bridge there is the East 
Portland system, extending to all of East Portland and to Mt. Tabor 
by motor line. By way of the Stark street ferry, the motor line to 
Vancouver enters the city. By way of the Jefferson street ferry the 
Hawthorne avenue motor line is accessible. By the Steel bridge the 
electric motor cars have exit to McMillan's and Holladay's addition to 
East Portland, to Albina and St. John's. 

The following from the report of the street commissioner for 
1888 gives more exact details: 

"Street car tracks have been extended over quite a number of 
streets during the last year, increasing the total length of all street 
car tracks in the city from 12.7 miles in December, 1887, to 
17.45 miles at the date of this report, an increase of 4.75 miles. 
The increase is divided between the Transcontinental Street Railway 
Company, which have laid three miles in extending their tracks down 
Yamhill and Morrison streets to Front, and there connecting them; 
in doubling their track on G street from North Thirteenth street 
to North Twenty-first street, on North Thirteenth between G and S 
streets and on S street betw r een North Thirteenth and North Sixteenth 
streets, and laying a double track on S street from North Sixteenth 
street to North Twenty-third street, where said company has erected 
large brick stables; the Multnomah Street Railway Company, which 
has laid 1.2 miles in making the Washington and B streets line a 
double track road from Second street to the old city boundary, near 
the City Park, in the western part of the city, and the Willamette 
Bridge Railway Company, which has laid 0.55 miles of track, from 
Front street across the bridge to the city boundary, in the center of 
the Willamette river. 

u The Traction Street Car Company has a franchise for laying 
tracks from the northwestern part of the city through E, Second, 
Sheridan, Front, Porter and Corbett streets, a distance of nearly four 
miles. The Transcontinental Company has also been granted the 
right to extend their Yamhill and Taylor street tracks to Fourteenth 
street and thence along North Eighteenth street to their double 
track on G street, and this extension will undoubtedly be completed 

Sewers. 209 

and in operation before the approaching summer shall have passed. 
Appearances indicate that more street car tracks will be laid in 
Portland during the coming season than in any previous year." 


The surface of the city is very favorable to good drainage, sloping 
well toward the river. It gains thereby a strong wash, and throws 
the refuse far into the stream. There are, however, two great 
difficulties to contend with; one is natural, and the other results from 
the carelessness of the first who laid the sewers; or, perhaps, more 
strictly to the inertia of those who are allowing a system that 
worked very well for a village to still serve for the city. The natural 
difficulty is the backing up of the river by the Columbia in the 
summer and the other the mistake of laying the sewers down the 
streets east and west, to discharge in the river in front of the city, 
instead of northward, to cast their outflow below the city. 

As to the pollution of the river front by sewage, F. E. Vaughn, 
then superintendent of streets, said in 1885: u These mains all 
extend to the Willamette river, and discharge their contents into that 
stream immediately in front of the city, a disagreeable fact, which 
will eventually demand more serious consideration than is now 
accorded it. * * * * I would respectfully ask that you consider 
the practicability of adopting a system whereby all river mains that 
are hereafter laid in the northwestern portion of the city shall extend 
north and south. By this means their outlet will be below the city 
front as now defined." 

In 1886 he called attention again to the same fact, and in 1887 
recommended that to correct the evil a sewer be built in Front 
street, ' ' from Sheridan street to a point entirely beyond the occupied 
portions of our city, large enough to take up the sewers entering 
therein, as all the present sewers extend into the Willamette river 
and discharge their contents into said stream along the city front," a 
state of affairs detrimental to the healthy condition of the city. The 
bad condition thus recognized and described must very soon be 

210 History of Portland. 

As early as 1883, Major A. P. Sears thus strongly described the 

In the month of June, when the floods of the Columbia river back up the Wil- 
lamette, the mouth of every sewer is closed by the high water. 

In the winter, during the rainy season, all this filth is carried safely away from the 
town, because in those months there is a strong outward current ; the river water then 
is of excellent quality. Already the drainage of more than twenty streets, with the 
wastes of three hundred blocks, or five hundred acres, finds its way to our river. So 
near as I can estimate this sewage contains the wastes of about twelve thousand lives. 

The movement of this water in passing up stream under the summer sun is so 
sluggish, that if no extraneous filth entered the river, the organic matter contained 
in suspension is subject to putrifying influence that cannot but have a disastrous effect 
on the public health. 

While the evil thus stated is an important — may I not say a horrible — one, it is not 
^he only danger. When the water on the city front, during the summer, remains in 
this quiet condition, certain gross particles of filth, not dissolved, but held in suspen- 
sion, as well as the tainted liquid itself, assists to poison the earth of the shore and 
create an infecting, stinking sludge, to be thrown open to the seething influence of 
the sun when the floods retire, producing a second source of disease. 

But, during these months of flood, when, as previously stated, no rain is falling 
and the ends of the sewers are closed, there is only the intermitting, ordinary 
domestic water supply to keep them clean. I have lately had occasion to learn the 
insignificance of this amount for the ordinary purposes of cleansing. In the last 
month of November, after twenty-four hours of continuous, though light, rains, the 
greatest depth of flow in any sewer has been less than three inches, and this was 
regarded as extraordinary, the truth being that it was rare to find more than one inch, 
and generally only a film of liquid running along the pipes. 

In the summer, therefore, when the sewers must rely solely on the domestic water 
supply, they become elongated cesspools and throw their poisonous gases on our 
atmosphere or into our houses. 

The catch-basins, that are filled by the last rainy season with a rich deposit of 
rotting wood, street filth, dead cats and all unnameable things that reek, are 
dispensing the gases of putrefaction along the sewers for distribution in our houses or 
at the street corners. 

This is a condition of things existing at the present time, while the district under 
consideration is, as compared with other cities, sparsely settled. 

He spoke of the suggestion of Wm. E. Morris, in 1872, that an 
intercepting sewer be built along Front street to lead to a point below 
the city, and that the Warring system be adopted, by which the 
waste of water, etc. , is carried off in separate pipes, which are kept clean 
and flushed by steady automatic injectments of water at the dead 
end from a flushing tank furnished with syphons. The expense of the 
work, $348,958, was deemed so great as to render the change 

Sewers. 211 

impracticable. Nevertheless, at this day, when the population is five 
times that at the time the report was made by Major Sears, and the 
expense would not be above six dollars per capita, no better system 
could be devised. 

The condition of the sewers in the summer time is thus spoken 
of by W. S. Chapman, present superintendent of streets: "Something 
like five miles of street sewers are submerged from one end to the 
other by from ten to eighteen feet of back (dead) water during the 
summer freshets."' The sewers thus referred to are in the lower, or 
northern, portion of the city. But all the sewers are stopped up at 
the mouth by the high water. How this great difficulty may be 
remedied it is hard to see, unless it be by concentrating all the mains 
upon one large sewer, and carrying that far below the city, and there, 
during high water, emptying it by means of powerful pumps. 

In 1885 the total length of sewers aggregated fifteen and a half 
miles of terra cotta pipes, ranging from nine to eighteen inches in 
diameter. During 1886, 12,739 feet (two and one-fourth miles) 
were added, the principal work being on Jefferson street. Work was 
also begun on the Tanner Creek sewer. This is of brick, 500 feet 
in length of circular, and 3,836 feet egg-shaped, making upwards of 
three-fourths of a mile in all; to which has been added more than a 
quarter of a mile within the past year. It carries a large volume of 
water, draining a considerable portion of the range of hills; 
$36,067.74 were spent on this in 1887, and $16,181.25 for pipe 
sewers. In 1888 special attention was given to the southern 
portion of the city, laying a sewer to carry off the drainage of the 
Marquam creek. This is of brick, built at a cost of $7,559.25, and, 
together with lateral pipes, aggregated some $25,000; $40,788.97 
were spent on pipe sewers in 1888. The great work for 1889 has 
been the beginning of the Johnson creek sewer, in the northern part 
of the city, to be erected at a cost of $60, 000. Pipe sewers in the 
northwestern portion are also being provided with arrangements for 
a main. The expense of construction of sewers is borne by the 
property adjacent, and averages about $20 per lot. This is 
undoubtedly a bad plan, as lot owners along the line use every 
method to reduce expense, and the sewers are not built except in the 

212 History of Portland. 

last extremity. The benefit, moreover, is to the whole city, since 
the cleanliness and healthfulness of each part has a full influence upon 
the whole. 

The Marquam gulch on the south, the Tanner creek vale in the 
center, and the Johnson creek hollow on the north are the main 
depressions in the city, and the work in them is of a substantial and 
permanent character. Portland has not been niggardly in expen- 
diture for sewers, yet her system is in a very unsatisfactory condition. 
The work to be done at once is introduction of an entirely new plan, 
by which the pipes are thoroughly flushed and washed out every 
day in the year and the contents taken far below the city, even, if 
necessary, to the Columbia river. One million dollars raised by 
special tax, if by no other means, would be a small outlay in 
comparison with the health and benefit to be derived. 



Primitive Commerce — Commercial Operations of Hudson's Bay Company — Trade 
Enterprises of Hall J. Kelley, Nathaniel J. Wyeth and Nathaniel Crosby — Period of 
Commercial Adventurers — Discovery of Gold and Its Effects on Commerce — Early 
Trade in Lumber — Portland a Market for Oregon Produce — Early Sailing Vessels 
Which Visited Portland — Beginning of Steam Navigation — Character and Value of 
Portland's Exports From 1855 to 1865 — Steamships running to Portland from 1864 
to 1869— Value of Portland's Exports in 1866 and 1867— Measures Which Secured 
Portland's Commercial Independence— Growth of Foreign Commerce— Trade Statis- 
tics for 1 870 — Period of Business Depression — Commercial Growth and Development 
During Recent Years— Present Character and Condition of Portland's Commerce. 

IN approaching the subject of the commerce of .Portland, it will be 
found that it divides itself most naturally into three periods. 
The first of these begins in the most remote times, dating, indeed, as 
far back as the year 1811, when Astor projected his fur enterprise 
from New York upon our shores. This extends as far down as to 
1848 and the first months of 1849 — the period of gold in California. 

Commerce. 213 

The period from 1811 until 1849 may be termed the age of commer- 
cial adventurers and independent shippers, or the period of our 
primitive commerce. The second stage, beginning with 1849, 
continues until 1868, and may be styled the period of dependence, 
or at least sub-dependence, upon San Francisco. The third, 
beginning with 1869, and extending up to the present time may be 
styled the period of independent commerce with the Atlantic seaports, 
Europe, and all the world. 

Recurring to the primitive age we find included in this the 
enterprise of Winship, of Astor, a long regime of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and the ineffectual attempts of Kelley, Wyeth, and Couch; 
with, perhaps, a few independent ventures of other bold but unlucky 
Americans. It is not necessary here more than to refer to the scheme 
of Astor. It is well enough, however, to bear in mind that in days 
so early as 1809 and 1810, commercial men upon the Atlantic 
sea-board were looking toward the Columbia River as the next great 
opening for their enterprise. Looking upon the map of North 
America, they saw how the Columbia river and its tributaries made 
an open way from the heart of the continent so that the produ6ls of 
the interior might readily float thence to the sea, and were therefore 
impressed that at the mouth of this stream would rise the great 
emporium of the Pacific Coast and command the trade of the Orient. 
Astor' s proximate object was to nourish a trade in furs and to 
thereby gain a foothold for American institutions. There is every 
reason to believe that he intended to so far extend his plans and 
operations as to include the planting of colonies, the development 
of agricultural and pastoral pursuits, and thereby to insure the 
conditions by which a great commerce such as then was crystalizing 
about New York City, should be developed upon the western waters. 
It is well enough known how his enterprise failed, how his ships 
were blown up or wrecked, and how his agents upon this Coast 
betrayed his interests to his British rivals. Nevertheless, in the two 
years during which his business flourished, in spite of all his disasters, 
he succeeded in establishing the first settlement on the North Pacific 
coast, and in collecting furs worth something like two hundred 
thousand dollars. 

214 History of Portland. 

The Hudson's Bay Company, which succeeded to this enterprise, 
was a well established business corporation, and for a quarter of a 
century and more — 1818 to 1846 — carried on a commerce worth on 
the average a quarter of a million dollars per annum. This was, in 
the first years, almost exclusively devoted to the export of peltries 
and to the import of only such articles as were necessary to secure 
them — that is clothes, gew-gaws, trinkets, beads and a modicum of 
powder and shot. For more than ten years their commerce was thus 
restricted, and one ship a year from London was amply sufficient to 
bring all imports and to carry off all exports. About 1829, however, 
McLoughlin, the chief factor at Fort Vancouver, found that he 
might advantageously supply the Russian post at Sitka, or New 
Archangel, as then denominated, with wheat; and settling, therefore, 
a number of his servants upon lands in the Willamette Valley, and 
in after years encouraging the American settlers to engage in the 
cultivation of the cereals, he built up a considerable commerce in the 
Northern waters. As early as 1835, or 1836, it was found that an 
incidental commerce of much value might be conducted with the 
Sandwich Islands. And at this time began our first real export of 
salmon, lumber, and hoop-poles and staves. The annual ship passing 
by Honolulu on her voyage to the Columbia left at that point a 
portion of her cargo to be sold to the Islanders. Taking on here a 
supply of molasses, she proceeded to the Columbia river, and after 
discharging at the little fort at Vancouver, took on some salt salmon, 
lumber, hoop-poles and staves to leave at the Islands as she went 
on back to London. This amounted to as much as sixty thousand 
dollars per annum. This British circuit of trade flourished until 
1845, when Nathaniel Crosby, a Yankee sea captain, began to make 
inroads upon it; and, as by the treaty of 1846, Oregon as far north 
as the parallel of 49 degrees fell to our nation, the Hudson's Bay 
Company relinquished all this business to the Americans. 

It was in 1830 that Hall J. Kelley began his unlucky series of 
enterprises, and although he met nothing but failure from beginning 
to end, and contemplated a system of colonization rather than 
commerce, the agitation into which the Eastern States, and especially 
the commercial circles of Boston were thereby thrown, produced 

Commerce. 215 

fruit later on. Nathaniel J. Wyeth, of Boston, a clever, mettlesome, 
idealistic, but nevertheless sagacious New Englander, conducted his 
expedition across the continent to the mouth of the Willamette river. 
His plan was to establish forts on the upper waters of the Columbia, 
which were to be supplied with goods for the Indian trade, while at 
the mouth of the Willamette he was to have a central station. To 
this point should be gathered the pelts collected from the Indians, 
and hither a ship should come every year bringing a supply of goods 
sufficient for the interior posts. A system of salmon fishing was 
also to be conducted' on the lower Columbia, and as his vessel sailed 
away with the product of the year's labor of the trappers and the 
traders, she was also to carry a cargo of salt fish to be traded at the 
Sandwich Islands for whale oil or other products of that region. 
This brilliant scheme proved equally disastrous with that of Kelley's. 
Wyeth' s little band, which he left at Fort Hall, had much ado to 
escape extermination at the hands of the red men. His fishermen on 
the lower Columbia had bad luck in taking salmon — some of them 
being drowned ; and he was only too willing, after a struggle of less 
than three years, to sell out to his rivals and accept passage home in 
one of their ships. Captain Couch, in 1839, under the direction of 
John and Caleb Cushing, of Newburyport, Massachusetts, entered 
upon a scheme very similar to that of Wyeth' s, with the exception 
that he did not contemplate dealing to any extent in furs. With the 
brig Maryland he sailed around Cape Horn, arriving at the mouth 
of the Columbia river and passing up its waters to the Willamette, 
and thence to Oregon City on the solsticial freshet of May, 1840. 
He had on board an assorted cargo for trade with the American 
settlers in Oregon, and intended to load up with salmon and return 
to the Sandwich Islands and there exchange his cargo for whale oil 
and return via the Cape of Good Hope to Massachusetts. His plans, 
however, totally failed from his inability to sell his goods at Oregon 
City at prices to compete with the Hudson's Bay Company, and from 
the impossibility of obtaining a cargo of fish. He sailed empty to 
Honolulu, and there had to sell the Maryland in order to get home. 
In 1845, however, the persevering attempts of Americans to 
control this trade met with success. It was in that year that Captain 

216 History of Portland. 

Nathaniel Crosby came around the Horn from Massachusetts, and 
entering the Columbia river, sailed up to Portland, and, anchoring 
here, began to sell off his stock of goods. By means of batteaux, or 
flat boats, his goods were lightered up to Oregon City aud there 
disposed of as the settlers found need. It was in connection with 
this bark, the Toulon, that the name of Portland began to be known. 
People at the thriving city of the falls inquired when they learned 
that Crosby's ship was in the river where she would unload, and the 
answer was made u At Portland." This venture was measurably 
successful, and thenceforward Crosby began a regular trade between 
Portland and the Sandwich Islands, carrying away salmon, hoop- 
poles, staves, and a little whip-sawed lumber, or perhaps something 
of the product of the saw-mills at Oregon City, near Vancouver, or 
the Hunt's mill on Cathlamet bay. In 1846 this success of Crosby's 
was followed up by the arrival of the Chenamus, from Newburyport, 
under Captain Couch, on his second venture. 

In 1847, as the supremacy of the United States in the western 
waters began to be fully assured, other ships with cargoes of goods 
began to arrive. One of these was the bark Whitton, of New York, 
under Captain Ghelstom. She came up to Portland, and, after 
discharging, took on a considerable supply of produce, making a 
temporary wharf by drawing up near to the shore and placing poles 
from the bank to her deck, and upon these laying planks. At the 
same time the brig Henry was in the river on the East Portland side; 
the American bark Parsons is also mentioned as having entered the 
Columbia, and the Eveline from Newburyport. 

The Star of Oregon, a schooner, built in the early forties by 
Joseph Gale and other Americans, on Swan Island, was run down to 
San Francisco, but of course exported nothing, unless she herself be 
considered an export — for she was sold at San Francisco, and the 
money thus obtained was invested in cattle, which were driven 
to Oregon. It is not known that there were any other exports 
from Oregon, or, at least, that any passed Portland during 
those early times. This whole epoch, at least so far as concerns 
Americans, was that of commercial adventurers, and old-time traders, 
such as flourished on every sea from about the year 1790 to 1850. 

Commerce. . 217 

Coming now to the second epoch we find a commercial revolution 
consequent upon the discovery of gold in California. Thenceforth 
the objective point of the commerce of Oregon and of Portland as 
her principal shipping point was the Golden Gate. At the time that 
the discovery of gold was announced in Oregon in August, 1848, the 
brig Henry happened to be lying in the river, and her captain believ- 
ing that the discovery of gold would produce permanent industries 
on the most gigantic scale, seized the opportunity, before the news 
became general, to buy up as many as possible of the spades, shovels 
and pans, that were to be found among the householders and farmers 
of young Oregon. With these he sailed off, and, although experien- 
cing a long delay on the bar of the Columbia, and passing through a 
storm at sea, by which he was well nigh shipwrecked, he made the 
port of San Franciso without great loss, and realized a fortune. 
Other craft going down the coast to the same place carried produce 
of various kinds and some deck loads of lumber which had been cut 
out by whip saws, or at Hunt's mill. From 1849 until about 1855, 
and even later, the trade in Oregon produce, and lumber became 
exceedingly remunerative. One of the ship captains who made it a 
great success was Couch. He arrived on his third trip from 
Massachusetts at San Francisco in 1849, with the Madonna, and sold 
what lumber he had on board at the fabulous price of six hundred 
dollars per thousand feet. Five hundred dollars a thousand was for 
some time the regular market price. The Madonna came up to 
Portland and thereafter made regular trips under command of Captain 
Flanders, now of our city. Stimulated by the great demand for 
lumber, mills began to spring up along the lower Willamette, and a 
heavy export trade was continued. Lot Whitcomb and Captain 
Kellogg, at Milwaukie, operated a saw mill and regularly despatched 
vessels to the Golden Gate, carrying their own lumber and also that 
of other mills, for which they received a hundred dollars a thousand 
as freight. The exact amount of lumber thus exported during thes e 
years is not known, but, together with shingles, puncheons, poles, 
timbers, hoop-poles, shooks and staves, aggregated a value of many 
thousand dollars. 

218 History of Portland. 

Under the stimulus of enormous prices and unlimited demand 
Oregon produce began to be gathered likewise and sent below. 
Butter at two dollars a pound, beef at one dollar; wheat, potatoes 
and other vegetables, at corresponding figures, were eagerly brought 
from all parts of the Willamette valley and shipped at Portland or 
other points on the lower Willamette and Columbia. To meet this 
growing commerce sailing craft became multiplied, and steam 
communication was soon demanded. The Pacific Mail Steamship 
Company, of New York City, under the presidency of Aspinwall, 
had in 1849 sent the old Pacific throngh the straits of Magellan for 
Astoria, but she stopped at San Francisco. In 1851 she was followed 
by the old Columbia, a side- wheeler of about six hundred tons, which 
reached the mouth of the Columbia river and stopped at Astoria. 
After this she made regular trips between San Francisco and the 
Columbia river, coming finally as far up that stream as St. Helens. In 
the latter part of the same year the Gold Hunter came up from San 
Francisco, and being purchased by the town proprietors and other 
citizens first connected our city by steam with the outer world. 

There was no product of our valley which met with a greater 
demand than the Oregon apple. Orchards were exceedingly few, 
and in 1850 to 1855 the trees were so young that even the 
total aggregate of the entire Willamette valley was not large. 
People from the Eastern and Middle States, who had been accustomed 
to this fruit, and in crossing the plains or sailing around the Horn, or 
via the Isthmus, when they had been compelled to live upon fried 
bacon or salt beef, with little or no fruit or vegetables, were ravenous 
for the beautiful red or golden apples that grew large and fair in the 
Oregon rain and sunshine. They were willing, especially if their 
belts were full of " dust, n to give almost their weight in gold for the 
pomes. A dollar apiece, and even five dollars for a big one, was a 
regular price in the earliest days. The first shipment was made from 
the nursery of Luelling & Meek, at Milwaukie, in 1853. This was 
a consignment of two hundred pounds for the San Francisco market, 
from which they realized five hundred dollars. In 1854 they sent 
forty bushels down, making twenty-five hundred dollars by the trans- 
action. About the same time Mr. J. A. Strowbridge, now one of our 

Commerce. 219 

most substantial citizens, began making collections and consignments, 
going about from orchard to orchard, and encouraging the farmers to 
plant trees as rapidly as possible. His returns were large, and 
the encouragement which he gave the farmers resulted in the 
extension of the early orchards. In 1855 the export reached fifteen 
hundred boxes, which sold at fifty cents to a dollar a pound; in 1856, 
five thousand boxes, selling at twenty-five to fifty cents a pound; in 
1857, fifteen thousand boxes, at fifteen cents to fifty cents; in 1858, 
twenty-nine thousand, one hundred and ninety boxes, at seven cents 
to thirty-five cents; in 1859, seventy-two thousand boxes, at three 
cents to twenty-five cents; in 1860, eighty-six thousand boxes, at 
three cents to nineteen cents. In the winter of 1861, owing to the 
severity of the season, the orchards suffered a great loss, many of 
them being completely ruined, so that the exports did not for many 
years come up to their early productiveness. Even in 1863 we find 
the exports only forty-two thousand and thirty-one boxes. Yet it is 
to be noticed that after the discovery of gold and silver in Eastern 
Oregon and Idaho, quite considerable shipments were made thither, 
of which no record is found; and it was becoming customary also to 
turn the product into dried fruit, which subsequently exceeded in 
value the shipments of the green. Moreover, as prices fell, the crops 
were not fully gathered and thousands of bushels were suffered to rot 
under the trees, or were fed to the cattle and hogs. 

About the year 1860, and until 1865, there began a steady 
change in the character of exports. It was during those years that 
many of the people of Western Oregon went mining in Eastern 
Oregon or in Idaho, and as they returned, brought with them large 
quantities of gold dust; while bars of the precious metals, which had 
been made in the mining camps or towns of the upper Columbia, 
began to come down to Portland and were shipped thence as treasure. 
These shipments soon vastly exceeded in value all other exports 
combined. Frequently a quarter of a million dollars, and occa- 
sionally twice or three times that sum, was sent away on a single 

To begin now with a more exact account of our exports, those of 
1863 are stated as follows: (It will not be supposed that these figures 

220 History of Portland. 

are exa6t, or wholly comprehensive, since many shipments were made 
of which no account was taken, and gold dust especially was carried 
off in the pouches of the miners, the quantity of which was altogether 
unknown). Apples shipped aggregated forty-two thousand and 
thirty-one boxes; hides, two thousand, three hundred and twenty- 
four; wool, two thousand pounds and fifty bales. There were butter, 
flour, packages of eggs, gunnies of bacon, and live stock in consid- 
erable numbers. Of treasure there were nearly three million dollars. 
In 1864 the shipments of treasure rose to upwards of six million 
dollars, while other products swelled these export figures by about 
six hundred thousand dollars. Apples had come up to sixty-one 
thousand six hundred and seventy-eight boxes. The shipment of 
flour was insignificant compared with that of later days, and that of 
wheat figured scarcely more, although we find that the bark Almatia 
took down a hundred tons on one of her trips. We also find a 
shipment of two hundred barrels of salmon. Although this fish was 
caught in considerable quantity and prepared by salting for domestic 
consumption, it figured comparatively nothing in those days before 
the canneries. Of other exports we find oats, potatoes, turpentine, 
hoop-poles, lumber, lard, oil, fish, beans, butter and bacon. The 
characteristic of these early shipments is that of a community of 
small farmers and housekeepers, who, of afternoons, rainy days and 
long winter evenings, treasured up betimes the various odds and ends 
of their domestic and agricultural economies, rather for the sake of a 
little ready money when they went down to Portland, than as a 
regular established industry. Even the exports of wheat, flour, 
lumber and cattle seemed to be the picking up and saving of the odds 
and ends after the domestic wants had been supplied. The shipment 
of treasure was about the only thing that constituted a great 
industry. To accommodate this commerce, and to meet the wants 
of travelers, the steamships Oregon, Sierra Nevada, Brother 
Jonathan, Pacific, George \S. Wright and Moses Taylor were kept 
in operation. These were old fashioned, side-wheelers, high and 
wide, and also slow. They are well known among old Oregonians, 
and the fate of the Brother Jonathan, which was wrecked on the 
reef near Crescent City, in California, is still remembered with 

Commerce. 221 

something of the horror that fell upon the isolated communities in 
Oregon when the news of the great disaster was first received. The 
George S. Wright also suffered shipwreck, being many years later 
lost in the northern waters. Of sailing vessels, the barks Industry, 
Jennie Jones, Cambridge, Jane A. Falkenburg, Almatia, Samuel 
Merritt, Helen W. Almy and Panama are named. 

In 1865 the value of exports is given as seven million six 
hundred and six thousand five hundred and twenty-four dollars, the 
greater portion of which was treasure. 

Holladay's California, Oregon and Victoria Steamship Line was 
running in that year, the Sierra Nevada (1,395 tons) and the Oregon 
(1,035 tons). The California Steam Navigation Company's 
line — Hensley — was now operating the Pacific (1,100 tons), 
and here appears also the new name Orizaba (1,400 tons). These 
plied to San Francisco. Their rates for transporting horses were 
twenty -five dollars a head; cattle, twelve dollars; sheep, two dollars 
and fifty cents; and hogs, four dollars. The slaughtered animals were 
reduced somewhat; rates for hogs, one dollar and fifty cents; while 
cattle were still twelve dollars. General merchandise paid ten 
dollars; wheat, eight dollars, and flour, six dollars per ton. To 
Victoria the steamer .Active was run by Captain Thorn. 

Sailing vessels to San Francisco were the Jane A. Falkenburg, 
600 tons, Captain A. D. Wass; the H. W. Almy, 600 tons, Captain 
E. Freeman; the bark Almatia, 700 tons, Capt. Stannard; bark 
W. B. Scranton, 700 tons, Captain W. Cathcart; bark Samuel Merritt, 
550 tons, Captain Joseph Williams, and bark Live Yankee, Captain 

The Hawaiian Packet line comprised the bark A. A. Eldridge, of 
400 tons, under Captain M. Abbott, and the bark Comet, of 700 
tons. Of this line, McCraken, Merrill & Co. were agents. 

While the lines of commerce were thus maintained to ports outside 
the State, the internal commerce on our rivers was very active 
and attained large proportions. The O. S. N. Co. , ran steamers to 
Astoria, to the Cowlitz river, to The Dalles, and the Snake river. 
To Astoria, the/. H. Couch; to Monacello, a place at the mouth oi 
the Cowlitz river, which was "washed away in the flood of 1866, and 

222 History of Portland. 

has since been called Freeport, the Cowlitz or Rescue; to the 
Cascades, the New World, Wilson G. Hunt, Cascade or Julia, to 
connect by means of the portage railway with the Oneonta, Idaho, 
or Iris. The fare to The Dalles was six dollars; freight, twelve 
dollars per ton. Connection was made between The Dalles and 
Celilo, by means of another portage railway, with the Owyhee, Spray, 
Okanogon, Wehfoot, Yakima, Tenino, or Nez Perces Chief, for 
Umatilla, or the Snake river. Fare to Umatilla was twelve dollars, 
and freight seventeen dollars and fifty cents. To Lewiston the fare 
was twenty-two dollars, and freight sixty dollars. 

The People's Transportation Company ran between Portland and 
Oregon City the Senator and Rival, to connect at Canemah with the 
Reliance or Fannie Patton. For Eugene, the Enterprise ran from 

Some independent steamers, then as now, were moving upon 
these inland waters, among which were the Alert, for Oregon City, 
to connect at Canemah with the Active for points above; the Union, 
plying between Canemah and Lafayette; the Echo, for Eugene; and 
on the Columbia between Portland and Vancouver, the Fannie 

In 1866 the total export amounted to $8,726,017. The details 
are given as follows: Pork, 72 barrels @ $20; apples, 68,860 boxes 
(a) $1; eggs, 1763 packages @ $10; bacon, 4376 gunnies (§ $16; 
hides, 4674 (a) $1.50; onions, 1325 sacks (a) $4; syrup, 185 barrels 
(«) $8; wool, 1671 bales @ $40; pitch, 292 barrels @ $6; varnish, 
124 cases (a } $10; dried apples, 2603 packages @ $10; flour, 29,815 
barrels (Wj $5; salmon, 2564 packages at $8.50; staves and headings 
59,203; shooks, 14,972 @ 40 cents. 

The foregoing items foot up $555,457; to which should be 
added $200,000 for cargoes of which no manifests were made. The 
shipments of treasure aggregated $8,070,600. 

During this year the steamer Ranger was put on the 
Vancouver line, and the steamer Yamhill made tri-weekly trips to 

To San Francisco the new steamer Montana first appeared; and 
the schooner Alfred Crosby, to Victoria; the schooner Champion, 

Commerce. 223 

and the bark Ethan Allen, were found in our trade. The steamship 
Fideliter, a small, low screw propeller, which always went with a 
buzz, and at least preserved the appearance of activity, took up the 
route to Victoria. This same year also the dashing and swift steamer 
Oriflamme, began to ply on the route to San Francisco. 

For 1867 the total export is given as $6,463,793.75. This 
appears to be more than $2,000,000 less than the preceding year, 
but this diminution is due to a great decrease in the export of 
treasure which fell from more than $8,000,000 to about $4,000,000. 


During this whole period, from about 1845 until 1868 or 1869, 
the Oregon merchants, although industrious and active, and carrying 
on, as we have seen, a considerable volume of business, had been in 
reality working under the hand of San Francisco dealers. In the 
first part of this time many of them entertained the idea that as 
Oregon was the region from which the mines of California drew 
supplies, she must ultimately secure the gold that flowed forth from 
the depths of the earth. They believed that Oregon would become 
the head of business, and that her citizens would not only send 
supplies to California, but also control, to a very large extent, the 
trade and shipping between the two States. But while this reasoning 
had much foundation in the natural relation between the two regions, 
the time was not, however, ripe for its full justification. The out-put 
of gold in California was so enormous, so much of it was carried off 
at once by the miners, the California business men showed such 
preternatural activity, and the agricultural capacities of the Golden 
State proved to be so great that the greater portion of the capital 
developed from the mines was held in California and used in building 
up the great city at the Golden Gate. Oregon products, although 
always in good demand in California, did not figure by any means as 
the exclusive supply. The proprietors of Portland, in' the loss of 
the Gold Hunter, found themselves unable to hold the carrying trade, 
or to control commerce between Portland and California. The 
Pacific Mail Steamship Company soon controlling this line, found it 

to their advantage to court the favor of the California money kings 


224 History of Portland. 

rather than that of the Oregon pioneers. In the course of time the 
steamship lines passed into the hands of Californians exclusively, and 
the northern trade was looked upon by them as a perquisite of San 

During all these years, and even up to the present time, the 
merchants and people of California, partly on account of the money 
value of this policy and partly out of egotism and profound belief in 
the superiority of their own section, continually disparaged Oregon 
and Oregonians. The u Web -Footers " became the butt of all the 
little jokes that were going upon the streets and in social circles, much 
as Portlanders, at present, refer to the inhabitants of Tillamook as 
embodying all that is outlandish and slow in back-woods life. The 
rivers of Oregon were constantly represented as too shallow and rocky 
to be fit for navigation, while the mouth of the Columbia river was 
invested with all of the horrors which had lived over in romance and 
poetry from the writings of Irving. Merchants and insurance 
companies either refused to send ships to a place which was scarcely 
a recognized port, and of which nothing but evil appeared in the 
commercial papers. Our climate was spoken of as detestable and 
intolerable to civilized man — as being perpetually gloomy and wet, 
and, for at least nine months of the year, unfit for out-door occupa- 
tion. This spirit of humorous jealousy was indeed carried to a 
most absurd extreme, and, by means of all the exaggeration of wild 
western fancy, made Oregon, and more particularly the region of 
Portland and vicinity, to appear as the fag-end of the American 
continent, suitable only for the abode of those whose natural inertia 
and lack of ambition led them to avoid the close competition and 
high energy of more favored countries — of which California clearly 
stood at the head. While much of this may be excused as simply 
humor and vanity on the part of our neighbors, it, nevertheless, 
worked a real injury to our commerce and to the development of our 

About the time that railroad communication with the outside 
world was seriously agitated it began to be seen clearly by the 
people of Portland that, in order to build up anything like commerce, 
they must get themselves upon an independent basis before the world. 

Commerce. 225 

If they were to bring down to Portland their -crops of wheat, aggre- 
gating many millions of bushels, and worth many millions of dollars, 
they must not follow the policy of shipping all this produce to Cali- 
fornia, there to be reshipped as the product of that State. Their 
pride in Oregon was suffering many hard blows from being ignored in 
commercial circles. They saw by shipping reports that their flour 
and wheat, which, they fondly believed was the best in the world, 
all appeared in the markets of the world as from their neighbor 
State, and went to swell her fame among the nations. Portland was 
not known in the newspapers of the east, except perhaps as an insig- 
nificent point somewhere on the northern coast. The name Oregon 
was also carefully suppressed, and ships bound for Astoria or Portland 
were simply reported as having cleared for the Columbia river, leaving 
it uncertain to one whose geographical knowledge was imperfect 
whether this river was in some northern county of California or in 
British Columbia. Preparations were made for purchasing goods at 
New York and importing them to Portland direct, thus saving the 
expense of port duties at San Francisco, the toll paid to her 
merchants, and the tariffs of reshipping on the California steamers. 
The name of the first vessel thus chartered was the Sally Brown, and 
her captain, Matthews. She was soon followed by the Hattie C. 
Besse. There was a sort of " great awakening" on the part of 
everyone, and the newspapers exhibited fully the disadvantages of 
shipping to California. Said The Oregonian : i ( Now we believe that 
it can and will be demonstrated to the commercial world that vessels 
of sufficient capacity to make profitable voyages can load on this 
river. But our interests in this regard have been strangely neglected 
by our people. We have preferred to let San Francisco manage 
matters to suit her own convenience, instead of trying to do anything 
for ourselves. There is no longer any question about vessels of a 
larger class being able to cross the bar at the mouth of the river; 
and, for a long time, as is well known here, vessels large enough for 
direct trade have no difficulty in reaching Portland. But the impres- 
sions which were formed abroad in regard to the Columbia river still 
remain, which is not strange when we consider the manner in which 
our trade has been carried on." 

226 History of Portland. 

The Herald discusses the subject and shows in the same manner 
how dependence upon San Francisco worked ill to all Oregonians. 
It said: 

"We have frequently urged upon our citizens the importance of establishing a 
foreign commerce and an independent trade for Oregon. Every intelligent man, on 
first becoming acquainted with the vast natural resources and commercial facilities of 
Oregon, is struck with astonishment at the apparent want of enterprise exhibited by 
the business men of this section in the matter of foreign commerce. A few days ago 
we noticed a sale of flour from the Salem mills at the highest market price; it was 
quoted in the printed reports as 'California flour.' A gentleman of this city has just 
shown us a letter from his agent in New York, advising him of a sale of flour from 
the mill situated at Jefferson, in Marion county, Oregon, at the highest market rates. 
That is put down in the commercial report as 'California flour. ' Neither the name of 
Portland nor Oregon is noticed in commercial intelligence. Steamers and sailing 
vessels loaded for Portland appear in the shipping report as 'cleared for the Columbia. ' 
The imports of foreign goods to San Francisco upon which duties were paid at that 
port, amounted to $17,987,535.00, for the year 1867. The imports from the eastern 
States during the same year were not less than as much more; which would make an 
aggregate of imports of $35,975,070. Not less than one-third of that entire amount 
was re-shipped to the Columbia, passing through Portland for a market — say, eleven 
million one hundred and ninety-nine thousand one hundred and seventy -two dollars. 
The San Francisco commission upon this amount was at least ten per cent. — $1,199,- 
927. The freight from San Francisco to Portland upon these goods was not less than 
$400,000. Allowing the same amount for commission and return freights, and it will 
be found that our trade with San Francisco in commission and freights costs 
$3,198,344. Goods can be shipped directly from New York and Boston, or from any 
foreign port to Portland for one dollar a ton more than for San Francisco. By direct 
trade with the east and foreign ports, we have a saving of $700,000 in freights, and 
$2,398,344 in commissions and charges incident to breaking bulk, re-selling and 
re-shipping, at San Francisco. During the past two years Portland has paid tribute to 
San Francisco to an amount more than equal to the value of all assessable property. 
San Francisco has now a population of a hundred and twenty-five thousand. Port- 
land, with a foreign and independent commerce, with the same spirit of enterprise, 
which has characterized the former city, would now number not less than fifty 
thousand. This proposition is now mathematically demonstratable. The mines 
naturally tributary to Portland are greater in extent and product than those to San 
Francisco; the agricultural products of Oregon are more certain, and as available as 
those of California. Our lumber, iron and coal — the three great staples of commerce 
—together with our manufacturing facilities, are infinitely superior to those of 
California; we are nearer to the rich commerce of the Indies, and in the direct line 
of the shortest practicable belt of commerce around the world, when the contem- 
plated railroad systems are completed. With all these superior natural advantages, 
why do we consent to be a mere dependency? Paying tribute to the amount of one- 
third of our earnings to a city which constantly strives to humble and degrade us ?" 

J ' vi ^'.m a „,, , 


Commerce. 227 

The estimates of the amount Portland was then paying to San 
Francisco, as given by the Herald, were probably excessive, but the 
reasoning presented was sound and weighty, and had a good effect 
among its constituents, as the like presentations of the Oregonian 
and other journals upon their readers. 

About this time there were others also striving valiantly for 
release from these restrictions. Among these was Mr. Robert 
Kinney, who, although not a citizen of Portland, had interests 
here; and, as the proprietor of large grist mills, was seeking a 
market for the products of his manufacture. His son, Marshall J. 
Kinney, at that time his agent in California, found it extremely 
difficult to charter a ship for crossing the bar independently of the 
California companies. He was met with all manner of preposterous 
objections, and he found the prevailing opinions in regard to the 
Columbia river prejudiced by self-interest, and even dense ignorance. 
Nevertheless, he succeeded in chartering a bark — the Cutwater — and 
the cargo shipped on her was among the first, if not the very first, to 
sail away independently of California. 

As the people of Portland became thus moved, measures were 
introduced in the State Legislature, which convened in the latter 
part of 1868, to provide relief. Col. W. W. Chapman, still at the 
front in all matters relating to the prosperity of Portland, undertook 
the passage of a bill for a tug off the Columbia bar. His first step 
was to remove the prejudices of the agricultural members, who. were 
naturally quite loth to vote money out of the State treasury for the 
benefit of Portland; but the Colonel was able to show them that, as 
their groceries, farm machinery, clothing and other necessaries were 
taxed heavily by coming through San Francisco, anything to open 
up direct communication with New York would result in their 
advantage. In order to prove that there must be some assistance 
given to shipping, he showed that although there was a depth of 
twenty-four feet on the Columbia bar at dead low water — which, at 
the time, was the case — the dangers resulted from lack of uncertainty 
of winds; and every disaster has been due to such failure. He 
showed that shippers and ship owners would refuse to dispatch vessels 
to this port while this- embarrassment remained. He recommended 

228 History of Portland. 

that the State give a subsidy for the maintainence of a. proper 
steam tug at the mouth of the river. To show that such subsidy 
was necessary, he cited the experience of Captain Paul Corno, who 
had some years before attempted to maintain a tug, but found that 
the business was not large enough to justify his endeavor. Chapman's 
recommendations were adopted, a subsidy of thirty thousand dollars 
was provided — to be furnished under proper restriction and in certain 
yearly installments — and the rates of pilotage were reduced twenty- 
five per cent. The tug boat was allowed, when not needed at the 
bar, to tow vessels to Portland. 

Steps were also taken by the merchants of Portland, and by the 
city as a corporation, to maintain a dredger on the lower Willamette 
river, and a channel three thousand two hundred feet in length was 
cut to a depth of fifteen feet at low water, across Swan Island bar, 
at an expenditure of some twenty -five thousand dollars. 

As a result of all these endeavors, a new and steady commerce 
began to spring up. The Packet line from New York continued 
regular trips, although, as the transcontinental railways were 
constructed, the need of them has very largely ceased. The commerce 
with foreign ports, and particularly with the United Kingdom, has, 
however, grown steadily from that day to this. 

The following table of the exports to San Francisco for 1869 

shows the progress of our commerce. It is very incomplete, being 

much like the others in this regard, as given heretofore: 

Treasure $2,358,000 00 j Salmon, barrels 1,937 

Bullion 419,657 00 j Salmon, packages 19,729 

Butter, packages 1,313 

Hides 5,650 

Wool, bales 3,191 

Barley, sacks 240 

Pork, barrels 1,712 

Cheese, packages 12 

Hams, packages 435 

Pig iron, tons 825 

Flour, quarter sacks 543 

Wheat, sacks 49,422 

Oats, sacks 58,403 

Bacon, gunnies 4,723 

I^ard, half barrels 2,960 

Apples, boxes 31,520 

Dried apples, packages 4,912 

Of the items above mentioned, it will be noticed that treasure is 
rapidly decreasing, while flour, wheat and salmon are increasing. 
Iron appears for the first time in any noticeable quantity, and gives 
proof of the industry established at Oswego. Salmon, as shipped in 

Commerce. 229 

Salmon, bbls 3,792 

Salmon, half bbls 4,746 

Salmon, cases 22,130 

cases or packages, witnesses the beginning of the great industry 
about springing up in canning this noble fish. Although salmon 
were not shipped from Portland exclusively, nor perhaps to a vejy 
large extent, and although the business of canning was not operated 
with Portland capital, nevertheless the income from this resource had 
a decided effect in stimulating business at this point. 

The aggregate of sales in the city is estimated at $3,400,000 for 
this year, and the internal revenue collections were $204,532. 

In 1870 the commerce to the United Kingdom begins to rise. In 
that year, in the months from July 1st, 1869, to November, 1870, 
the exports thither amounted to a value of about $61,000. 

The following table exhibits the export to San Francisco: 

Apples, boxes 25, 600 

Flour, quarter sacks 144,071 

Lumber, feet 6,818,547 

Oats, sacks 63,235 

It appears that in the year 1870 no statistics were kept at Portland 
of exports, and of the above meagre table the Oregonian speaks as 
follows: "It is but just to this State to say, however, that the above 
figures do not for either year (1869-70) express the full amount of 
our shipment to San Francisco, but only such amounts of the various 
articles as were shipped into the San Francisco market for sale. It 
is well known that during each year we sent considerable quantities 
of wheat, flour, salmon, etc., to San Francisco for shipment to 
Eastern or foreign ports; these were not included in the above table. 
The very small increase of wheat exports of 1870 above 1869 is 
accounted for by the fact that in 1869 we shipped but little to foreign 
countries direct, while in 1870 we exported to foreign countries as 
much as, or more than, appears in this table. The latest shipment 
to all destinations would show that our grain and breadstuffs export 
have increased greatly more in proportion than any other products. It 
will be seen that exports of salmon have also increased. ' ' 

The exports to foreign countries — including China, British 
Columbia, Sandwich Islands, England, Ireland, Uruguay and Peru 
aggregated a value of three hundred and seventy-one thousand three 
hundred and fifty-five dollars — mostly lumber, flour and fish. 

230 History of Portland. 

The statistics of 1870 appear incomplete and unsatisfactory — 
showing negligence on the part of the Portland shippers of that time. 
The foreign commerce during that period does not seem to have 
advanced quite so rapidly as was hoped, and the Portland merchants 
appear to have been somewhat slow to make use of the great advan- 
tages open to them by the new order of things. Nevertheless, this 
was but natural, as the capital was not then in the city to inaugurate 
a great enterprise, and must be brought in from abroad. The Customs 
District of Willamette was created and a Custom House established 
at Portland this year. 

This was, moreover, a period of railroad building and excitement, 
and, consequently, foreign commerce by water was not so rapidly 
pushed. Still further, the producers of the country, the farmers, 
lumbermen and stock-raisers, must adapt their industries more 
directly to commerce, and not consider it a simple addendum to 
conveniently provide to take care of what they happened to have left 
over of their domestic industries. 

In 1871 foreign exports rise to a value of $692,297. Clearing to 
foreign ports are found five foreign ships, aggregating three thousand, 
seven hundred tons, and six foreign barks, two thousand, six hundred 
tons. Of American steamer clearances to foreign ports, there were 
twenty-nine, and six barks and one schooner, aggregating sixteen 
thousand tons. Imports from foreign countries reached $517,633. 

The coastwise arrivals, from San Francisco and other American 
cities, aggregated eighty-six thousand four hundred and sixteen 

In 1872 we find commerce rising to something like its contem- 
plated proportions. For its purposes, eighteen American steamers 
and eight barks were employed, with a tonnage of eleven thousand, 
nine hundred and forty-six; and of foreign vessels, twelve barks and 
two schooners, aggregating nine thousand, one hundred and forty 

Imports from England reached a value of $350,980; from British 
Columbia, $31,294; from Sandwich Islands, $171,332; from Hong- 
kong, $115,338; from other points, $59,831, making a total of 
$728,825. The large imports from the Sandwich Islands show the 

Commerce. 231 

value of their trade to Portland, if their products of sugar might be 
somehow taken away, at least in part, from the San Francisco 

The exports for this year were as follows: To England, a value 
of $3,041,744; British Columbia, $107,508; Ireland, $187,549; 
Sandwich Islands, $8,824; Hongkong, $33,925, making a total of 

The wheat shipped to the United Kingdom from August 1st to 
December 13th reached 209,337 centals, worth $311,166, as against 
99,463 centals, worth $257,276 in 1871. There were five vessels 
engaged in this trade, while in 1872 there were ten. The value of 
the grain thus exported did not keep pace with that of the year 
before, on account of the low price realized. The export to California 
of flour' was 192,500 sacks. 

As for coast- wise traffic, there were eighty-two steamers, twenty 
barks, three brigs, four ships and various schooners, aggregating a 
hundred and nine thousand, nine hundred and forty -seven tons. 

The purely domestic commerce in the Willamette Valley was 
conducted with the old-time energy, employing forty steamers, with 
an aggregate tonnage of thirteen thousand, seven hundred and ninety- 
one, and twenty-one sailing vessels of various descriptions aggre- 
gating two thousand and thirteen tons. The Oregon and California 
Railway was now in active operation and the Oregon Central had 
tapped the agricultural portion of Washington county. 

In 1873 there appears a great rise in exports. For the fiscal year 
ending in September the following showing is made: To foreign 
ports there were employed three steamers, the California, George S. 
Wright and Gussie Telfair, and thirty-five sailing vessels, for the 
most part ships or barks of large capacity from England. The 
exports of wheat to foreign ports was 640,262 centals, valued at 
$1,055,264; flour, 37,284 barrels, at $158,895, making a total of 

Foreign entrances aggregated a tonnage of nineteen thousand, one 
hundred and forty-three, and of clearances twenty-three thousand, 
four hundred and sixty-seven. Of American vessels in foreign trade 
the entrances were ten thousand, three hundred and two tons, and 

232 History of Portland. 

Apples, dried, packages 2,533 

Butter, packages 1,640 

Beef, barrels 112 

Bacon, packages 409 

Lard, packages 6 

Hams, packages 18 

clearances nineteen thousand, four hundred and forty-four. The 
imports reached a value of $514,343, and exports about $1,600,000. 
This was all trade with foreign countries. 

The following table exhibits the trade with California for that 

Flour, quarter sacks 405,672 

Oats, centals 117,012 

Wheat, centals 337,391 

Salmon, barrels 4,361 

Salmon, half barrels 3,459 

Salmon, packages 1 10,563 

Apples, ripe, boxes 14, 644 

These all aggregated a value of $2,500,000. 
• The aggregate of vessels entering on account of coast wise traffic 
was 112,100 tons ; of clearances, 79,694 tons. The difference notice- 
able in the entries and clearances is explained for the most part by 
the fact that ships loading at Portland frequently dropped below at 
Astoria to complete their cargo. 

From the above it will be seen that the total exports both to 
foreign ports and domestic was about $4,100,000 in value. It will 
also be noticed that this includes nothing of treasure which figured 
so largely in early shipments; as by this period the business of the 
country had so far advanced as to be conducted, so far as concerned 
money, by means of money orders, checks and bills of exchange, so 
as to obviate the necessity of the transfer of money in a body. 


The commerce from this time down to the present has flowed on 
with steadily increasing, volume, and the details need not be so 
extensively given here as in the preceding pages. It may be noticed 
that with the coming of Ben Holladay in Oregon, as a railroad princa 
and capitalist, there was a general increase of energy, and much 
greater rapidity in despatch and shipments than before. Things took 
on a livelier air, and assumed more the tone and style of California 
business. Dash, vim and even recklessness was affected to a greater 
degree in all business circles, and especially in commercial ventures. 
The transference of the headquarters of Holladay' s ocean steamers 



from San Francisco to Portland, made also a great difference in the' 
growth of the city and in swelling the streams of trade leading- 

For 1871 the foreign trade rises to the value of $692,297. 
There were cleared for foreign ports of foreign vessels, five ships 
aggregating three thousand seven hundred tons, and two barks 
of two thousand six hundred tons. The American vessels were 
twenty-nine steamers and six barks and one schooner, of sixteen 
thousand tons. The coastwise arrivals aggregated eighty-six 
thousand four hundred and sixteen tons. 

Imports for this year from foreign countries reached a value of 

For 1872 the entrances from foreign ports, comprised of American 
steamers eighteen, and American barks eight, with a tonnage of 
eleven thousand nine hundred and forty-six. Of foreign vessels, 
twelve barks and two schooners, nine thousand one hundred and 
forty. This made the total tonnage for the year, one hundred 
and thirty-one thousand and thirty-five. 

The following exhibits the imports: 

From England, value of. . .$350,980 

" British Columbia, " . . 31,294 
" Sandwich Islands, " . . 171,332 
" Hongkong, " . . 115,338 

" Allother, " .. 59,831 

Total 728,825 

The following exhibits the exports: 

To England value of $304,744 

" British Columbia, " 
" Ireland, " 

" Sandwich Islands, " 
" Hongkong, " 







During these years one notices with interest the steady increase 
in shipment of wheat to the United Kingdom — showing that Portland, 
as the commercial city of Oregon, was rapidly building up a great 
foreign trade. In 1871 this was but 99,463 centals, valued at 
$257,276; while in 1872 the shipments rose to 209,337 centals, 
valued at $511,166. Flour shipped to California was 192,500 
quarter sacks. The total export of wheat was twenty-three thousand 
eighty-two tons, and of flour fourteen thousand five hundred and 
fifty-eight tons. Although these figures show a large increase in 
quantity shipped, the prices realized during this season were so low 
as to impair somewhat the advantage thus derived. 


History of Portland. 

In the district of the Willamette there were registered this year 
forty steamers, with an aggregate tonnage of thirteen thousand seven 
hundred and ninety-one tons, and twenty-one sailing vessels of 
various kinds, two thousand and thirteen tons. This large number 
of craft on the rivers shows a well sustained inland trade, and that 
the transportation lines were active in bringing to the sea-board the 
interior products. 

In 1873 Portland experienced the great fire by which about a 
million and a half dollars worth or property were destroyed. This 
great loss, calling for its repair, all the money that might be raised 
upon real securities, necessarily withdrew from trade and commerce 
large sums which would otherwise have been applied to their 
enlargement. Confidence was for a time somewhat shaken, and the 
year was less productive than was expected at the beginning; never- 
theless, the volume of foreign trade continued to steadily increase as 
before. For the fiscal year ending in September we find three 
steamers plying to foreign ports, in British Columbia. These were 
the California, the George S. Wright and the Gussie Tell fair. The 
latter of these was looked upon with some interest as the first iron 
steamship in our waters; and even more as having in her younger 
and wilder days been a Rebel blockade runner. Besides the steamers 
there were thirty-five sailing vessels, mostly owned in Great Britain. 
The total export of wheat amounted to 640,262 centals, valued at 
$1,055,264; flour, 37,284 barrels, at $158,895; making a total 
value of wheat and flour export to the United Kingdom, $1,284,149. 

To California, wheat reached 116,076 centals; flour, 209,304 
quarter sacks. 

The total shipments to California for this year are shown by the 
following table: 

Apples (ripe), boxes 14,644 

Apples (dried), packages 2,533 

Butter, packages 1,640 

Beef, bbls 112 

Bacon, packages 409 

Lard, packages „ 6 

Flour, quarter sacks 405,672 

Oats, centals 117,012 

Wheat, centals. : 337,391 

Salmon, bbls 4,361 

Salmon, half bbls 3,459 

Salmon, packages 110,563 

The total valuation of the above is set down as $2,500,000. 

Commerce. 235 

Coastwise entrances aggregated 112,100 tons; clearances, 79,694 
tons. Foreign entrances, 19,143 tons; clearances, 23,467 tons. 
The tonnage of American vessels in foreign trade was — entered, 
10,302; cleared, 19,444. The imports reached $514,343, and the 
exports abont $1,600,000 to foreign countries. 

Following this year a new impetus to the production of grain 
was given in the upper Willamette Valley by the opening of the 
Willamette river to the head of navigation by means of a canal and 
locks at Oregon City. Steamers were thereby enabled to carry grain 
from points even as far as Eugene City to Portland without breaking 
bulk. So soon as the autumn rains — usually in October — swelled 
the volume of the river, these light crafts began to remove the crops 
that the farmers hauled from considerable distances to shipping 
points on the river, and continued the traffic until late in the summer 
succeeding. The actual proportion of grain thus moved was not so 
large, but, on account of the competition thus afforded, rates of 
rail transportation were materially reduced. 

The Portland merchants also, both in order to enable vessels of 
large draft to conveniently load at their wharves, and also to finish 
their lading beyond a degree of safety for passage down the Willamette 
river, constructed a number of immense barges to accompany the 
ships to Astoria, with the residue of their cargoes, or to leave it in 
store at that port as might be needed. This proved, however, to be 
only necessary as a temporary expedient, since the deepening of the 
channel between Portland and the ocean renders unnecessary all such 
expedients. New attention was directed to the safety and facility of 
passing in and out the Columbia river, and attention was called to 
the fact that out of more than one thousand arrivals and departures at 
the bar during the four years preceding but one loss was experienced, 
and this was due to the fright of the captain, chiefly, who aban- 
doned his ship, to be rescued afterward by a party of salvors. 
Much railroad agitation was carried on in these years, and all were 
eager for direct communication with the East. 

A good authority at the time thus speaks of the commercial 
condition: " In summing up our year's condition, we can say that if 
it has not been all that the most sanguine expected, it has, never- 

236 History of Portland. 

theless, proved the incorrectness of what grumblers predicted for it. 
The sweeping disaster of the great fires of the two preceding years 
seriously effected many of the sufferers, and the effects of the heavy 
losses have not yet in some instances been overcome; but, notwith- 
standing these calamities, and a few reverses in trade circles, there 
have been no failures of large firms or of business suspensions of 
consequence. The sound commercial basis which underlies our 
leading houses, their wholesome system of trade, and their positive 
cautiousness against speculation all combine to provide against 
disaster and to inspire confidence. ' ' 

"From a table compiled this year to show the exports of 
wheat from 1868 to the middle of 1874, we find a total value of 

"The bulk of the wheat was exported to the United Kingdom, 
and also a round aggregate of flour — but the largest proportion of 
the latter was sent to San Franciso, to New York, to ports in the 
Pacific, and to China and Japan. ' ' 

It is reported for this year that nearly two hundred ships were 
employed in the export trade; but this evidently includes all coast 
wise craft of every description. 

For the year 1875 we find a somewhat low condition — or at least 
not so flattering as might be expected. From Walling' s directory 
we clip the following: "During the past year, Portland, in common 
with every other section of the Union, has felt the effect of the 
stagnation which has had such disastrous effects upon the commercial 
prosperity of the entire country; but remote as we are from the great 
centers of commerce, we have been comparatively free from the 
disastrous, consequences which have left their impress upon the 
business marts of the eastern slope. ' ' 

As is usually the case in periods of business depression, merchants 
and others began industriously to invent means of expanding their 
trade; and soon a hopeful condition of affairs was attained. Work 
on the West Side railroad, which had been stopped at St. Joe, on the 
Yamhill river, was resumed, and the region thus tapped, was brought 
into more intimate relations with Portland. 

Commerce. 237 

The number of American vessels entering this year aggregated 
100,602 tons; the foreign, 16,304 tons. 

The value of exports is shown by the following table: 

To England $ 799,818 00 

" British Columbia 136,600 00 

" Hongkong 41,448 00 

" Sandwich Islands 549,480 00 

" Australia 9,720 00 

" Uruguay 58,743 00 

Total 1,623,313 00 

Imports from these countries in foreign vessels were valued at 
$283,499; in American vessels, $163,359; total, $446,858. 

The wheat sent to England during this year was 513,481 bushels; 
to Ireland, 548,986 bushels; flour, 48,110 barrels. 

Noticing some of the imports we find ten thousand bricks from 
England — evidently brought by way of ballast. Bags, also, were 
brought from England to the value of $79,086. The trade from 
China was very largely in rice, a considerable portion of which was 
for the Chinese consumers in our midst; 731,926 pounds. 

From the Sandwich Islands there were imported 160,839 pounds 
of rice; of sugar, 3,353,552 pounds; of molasses, 1088 gallons. 
This is evidently before the monopoly of Spreckles in California. 

During 1876 business rapidly revived and the general enthusiasm 
prevailing throughout the entire United States did much to 
inspire our merchants with new energy and confidence. More 
interest was taken in collecting reliable statistics and in showing the 
world what we were capable of. It was found that the exports of 
Oregon averaged three hundred and eighteen dollars to each man in 
the State. u With a population of forty thousand men, Oregon's 
export of wheat equals one-seventh of the total export of the United 
States. " 

Eastern Oregon and Washington had now begun to raise wheat 
in large quantities. Wool figures as a very valuable product — the 
export being for that year 3,125,000 pounds, worth $600,000. The 
salmon catch was also rising and exports from this source were 
assuming large proportions. In 1875, 372,000 cases were put up, 

238 History of Portland. 

and in 1876 this was swelled to 480,000 cases. Seventy-two vessels 
cleared with cargoes mostly wheat, for European ports. The 
export of wheat to Europe was 1,824,371 centals, valued at $3,138, - 
294. The total export was 1,937,787 centals. The export of flour 
aggregated 215,714 barrels. The excess of wheat and flour exports 
for 1876, over 1875, reached a value of $794,857. 

In the record of shipments to San Francisco, it is noticeable that 
apples are coming up to their former figure, being 41,523 boxes of 
the fresh fruit, and 6,363 packages of the dry; 22,671 sacks of 
potatoes and 176,939 bushels of oats were also shipped, but the bulk of 
our shipments thither for that year consisted of 290, 076 c^ses of canned 
salmon, showing that almost from the first our cannerymen looked 
for sale of their goods in California. If it had been possible to carry 
on the salmon business on a purely independent basis before the 
world, and make Portland, the city nearest the greatest production of k 
this article, the emporium, it is believed that many disasters and 
difficulties which overtook this business might have been avoided. 

The shipment of treasure, or the actual transportation of money 
for this year was $2,651,431.78. 

As another sign of increase and advance toward commercial 
supremacy was the change noticeable at this time, by which the 
country merchants and the jobbers and dealers in small towns began 
to look to Portland as the base of their supplies. 

During 1877 loud calls were heard from the people of Portland for 
direct railroad communication with the East, and strenuous exertions 
were made for the building of a road from Portland via The Dalles 
to Salt Lake. Much of this eagerness for independent rail lines was 
developed by the fact that in California many emigrants starting 
overland for Oregon were turned back by the representations of 
agents of the California Emigration Boards, and the Oregonians 
found their growth in population much retarded thereby. 

The total value of exports from the Columbia river in 1876 was 
estimated at $11,825,087; in 1877 at $16,086,897. Seventy-eight 
ships and barks were engaged in carrying to foreign ports 2,341,210 
centals of wheat, worth $4,954,475. Upon five vessels there were 
shipped 59,389 barrels of flour, worth $355,690. 

JEty*byZ&& r 

Commerce. 239 

We venture to insert here one more table of exports to San 
Francisco, which the indulgent reader may omit in reading unless 
for purposes of reference and comparison: 

Wheat, centals 504,836 I Flax seed, sacks 12,792 

Flour, barrels 113,732 Hides 37,090 

Oats, centals 146,050 ; Beef (canned), cases 15,612 

Barley, centals 5,608 j Butter, packages 2,064 

Middlings, sacks 2,834 ; Bacon, packages 1,030 

Bran, sacks 19,418 \ Lard} cases 307 

Shorts, sacks 2,569 \ Hams, packages 263 

Apples, boxes. 73,282 i Pork, barrels 372 

Dried fruit, packages 3,206 Hops, bales 2,006 

Potatoes, sacks 37,081 Cheese, packages 729 

Hay, bales 863 Salmon, cases 246,892 

Salmon, half barrels 723 Salmon, barrels 173 

Wool, bales 15,759 

The following table is also attended as giving the comparative 
shipments and values of wheat, including flour reduced to wheat, 
for the years 1874-75-76-77: 

1874— Centals 2,312,581 worth $4,549,992 

1875— Centals 2,095,532 worth 3,610,172 

1876— Centals 2,894,722 worth 4,405,029 

1877— Centals 3,383,473 worth 7,310,529 

In 1878 there appears to be a falling off in export of wheat, which 
reached but 1,449,608 centals, valued at $2,540,112; flour valued 
at $329,000. 

During the year 1878, however, there were exceedingly lively 
times between Portland and San Francisco on account of the compe- 
tition between several steamship companies for the trade. In 
opposition to the Oregon Steamship Company, the old Pacific Mail 
steamers of large size, the Orizaba and the John L. Stephens were 
run. Also the Great Republic, the largest vessel ever afloat in our 
waters, carried things with a high hand, sometimes transporting as 
many as a thousand passengers at a single trip. 

In 1879 the total number of steam craft of the Willamette 
District (Portland) was sixty, with a tonnage of 27,597. Of these 
the G. W. Elder aud the Oregon, belonging to the Oregon Steamship 
Company, iron ships, built at Chester, were the finest and most 


240 History of Portland. 

The wheat export required the services of seventy vessels, and 
nineteen vessels were also engaged, either wholly or in part, for flour. 
The wheat reached 1,932,080 centals, worth $3,611,240; flour, 
209,098 barrels, valued at $1,143,530. The total value of wheat 
and flour shipped both to domestic and foreign ports was $5,345,- 

The following table exhibits the rise and growth of the wool 

1873 2,000,000 pounds 

1874 2,250,000 pounds 

1875 2,500,000 pounds 

1876 3,150,000 pounds 

1877 5,000,000 pounds 

1878 6,500,000 pounds 

1879... 7,000,000 pounds 

The following figures furnish the statistics of the salmon canning 
business on the Columbia river. There were canned the following 
number of cases, in 1875, 231,500; 1876, 428,730; 1877, 392,000; 
1878, 278,488; 1879, 325,000. 

For 1880 the shipment of wheat was 1,762,515 bushels, valued 
at $1,845,537; flour, 180,663 barrels, valued at $891,872. The 
value of shipments to San Francisco aggregated $4,500,000. The 
wool shipment was 7,325,000 pounds; salmon, 472,000 cases. 

For 1881 the value of wheat was $1,845,537, or, 1,766,515 
bushels. For 1881 the shipments of lumber from Portland were 
considerable, although until this time the Portland mills were for the 
most part occupied in cutting for local trade, and to supply surround- 
ing and interior points. The three principal mills at Portland 
cutting for this year were the Portland Lumbering and Manufacturing 
Co., 6,200,000 feet; Smith's mill, 5,000,000; Wiedler's, about 

During this year greater interest than heretofore had been taken 
by Portland capitalists in exploring and opening coal and other 
mines that were naturally tributary to her; and a number of enegetic 
men in this city formed an organization to encourage the growth of 
fruit in the contiguous sections and open a market to the east and up 
and down the coast. The salmon catch on the Columbia reached 
550,000 cases. 

Commerce. 241 

The years of 1880-1 were marked by the great business activity 
resulting from the construction of the Oregon Railway and Naviga- 
tion Company's lines, the section from The Dalles to Walla Walla, 
to the Blue Mountains and to Texas Ferry, then building. The 
Northern Pacific railroad was running trains from Kalama to Tacoma 
and constructing the section of their road northeast of Ainsworth 
fifty-seven miles. The value of imports for this year are given as 

The following statement will show the state of business during 
1882: "Prosperity of business has been unparalleled. The 
commerce of the city has been constantly increasing during the past 
year. The tonnage of ocean steamers arriving at this port shows an 
increase of more than double the records of any previous year, many 
first-class steamships from foreign countries having made exception- 
ally prosperous voyages to and from Portland. Our regular ships 
plying hence to San Francisco have been constantly improving in 
character and increasing in number until the Portland line has 
become the busiest, most reliable and most profitable marine traffic 
from the city of San Francisco. The number of passengers carried 
on this line amounts to 5000 or more every month, and freights 
average 40,000 tons. The 'deep sea crafts' which visit our river 
prove the ignorance or malice of those who would represent entrance 
and navigation of the Columbia and the Willamette as perilous or 
impossible. There are now lying at our docks vessels which will 
load to twenty- two feet drafts before slipping their hawsers, and make 
the open sea without danger or delay." 

The Willamette river was much improved, and agitation for the 
improvement of the Columbia bar was begun. The following excerpt 
shows the general spirit prevailing at the time: ' 'Every unprejudiced 
observer of this vigor and of Portland's relation to the surrounding 
country says 'Portland ought to do the business of Oregon, Wash- 
ington and Northern Idaho. ' The completion of an unbroken line 
having five hundred miles of railroad eastward, with Portland as its 
great terminal point, marks an era in our history which will only be 
eclipsed by the present year. " 

242 History of Portland. 

The year 1883 fully realized all the hopes that were raised by the 
construction of the O. R. & N. Company's lines. Portland took 
long strides towards the pre-eminence naturally assured her by right 
of position. l ' It used to be said that three-fourths of our interior 
trade passed Portland, and was supplied by San Francisco. The past 
year has changed this condition of things so materially that possibly 
the conditions are reversed. ' ' 

' ' During the year the ocean commerce of Portland seems to have 
somewhat diminished, but this is most natural, considering the vast 
amount of tonnage which the railroads have displaced by more rapid 
transportation. The city has during the year maintained its own 
powerful dredgers for the purpose of increasing the depth of 
channel in the Willamette, and less trouble than heretofore has been 
experienced in bringing ships to Portland. The latter months of 
1883 found a greater number of ships in her harbor than one ever 
saw here at once, forty such vessels being at dock at one time in 
November, ' ' 

It was in 1883 that the O. R. & N. Company's lines were finished 
and the main line of the Northern Pacific was pushed to a junction 
with its eastern section. 

In 1884, however, a great business collapse resulted from the 
unusual expansion of the preceding months, and the year was rather 
disastrous. The Oregon and Transcontinental stocks dropped to a 
minimum. Villard failed, and many Portland stockholders were 
greatly crippled. Fictitious values had to be brought down to a 
substantial basis. Cessation of railroad construction, discontinuance 
of disbursements, and the fact that the railroad now coming into 
operation began to absorb the flowing money in the country, all 
tended to create a stringency. Prices of wheat fell low, and 
productions therefore realized but poorly; and during the holidays in 
Portland the whole city was blockaded by an unprecedented storm of 
snow and ice, so that the somewhat unusual preparations of Portland 
merchants failed to realize their object. The time of this storm was, 
however, reckoned as about the lowest ebb of business, and with the 
advance of winter and the opening of the following season began a 
general rise. The main line of the Northern Pacific Railroad having 



been completed, brought in immigration from the East. The O. R. 
& N. Company pushed their line to a junction with the Union 
Pacific, and formed a net- work of lines in the valley of the Columbia. 
The Oregon and California road was continued to Ashland, and the 
Oregon Pacific was finished from Corvallis to Yaquina bay. The 
section of the Northern Pacific from Portland to a point on the 
Columbia river opposite Kalama was also built. 

The imports of this year are stated to be, domestic, $18,868,129; 
foreign, $1,013,866. 

The exports aggregated, domestic, $6,284,735; foreign, $5,648,- 
116, making a total of about $12,000,000. 

The wholesale trade diminished, owing to the cessation of railroad 
construction, but, as an offset, country merchants found that they 
could do better at Portland than at the East. 

In 1885 there were shipped 4,546,540 centals of wheat, valued 
at $45,643,650, and 459,159 barrels of flour, valued at $1,751,589, 
making a total value of $7,394,239. 

The shipment of wool aggregated 11,558,427 pounds, worth 
$1,637,936. The value of all exports reached $14,280,670, being 
$2,347,819 over the exports of the preceding year. The greatest 
crop of grain hitherto raised in the Northwest was harvested this 

For 1886, the following table of exports still further illustrates the 

Wheat, centals 4,919,346 

Flour, barrels 605,694 

Salmon, cases 548,366 

Wool, pounds 19,227,105 

Woolens, cases 819 

Mill stuffs, sacks 227,719 

Barley, centals • 40,685 

Leather, packages 590 

Tallow, packages 1,765 

Butter, packages 286 

Eggs, packages 3,488 

Provisions, packages 6, 570 

Pig iron, tons 1,567 

Lumber, M 28,771 

Flax seed, sacks 68,431 

Furs, hides, skins, etc., lbs. . 2,383,710 
Hops, pounds 6,520,036 

Barrel stock, packages. 

Potatoes, sacks 

Oats, sacks 

Laths, M 

Green fruit, boxes 

Dried fruit, packages . . , 

Ore, sacks 

Onions, sacks 

Teasels, cases 


Total value of exports. ...$16,960,147 00 

244 History of Portland. 

For 1887 the shipment of wheat was 173,915 tons, and flour 
45,766 tons, making a total — all reduced to wheat — of 237,989 tons. 
The total export of 1887 was $13,985,681. 

The statistics of wheat for 1888 are given as follows: 

To Europe— Centals 3,149,764 .... valued at ... . $3,716,598 

To San Francisco— Centals.. 1,099,109.... valued at.... 1,288,819 

Coastwise— Centals 160,154 valued at 196,370 

Peru— Centals 53,344 valued at 60,610 

The shipment of flour for the same period is shown by the 

following table: 

Kurope— Barrels 402,734 valued at $1,399,773 

San Francisco— Barrels 107, 834 valued at 397, 346 

Coastwise— Barrels 62,967 valued at 245,775 

China— Barrels 71,036 .... valued at ... . 259,412 

The total shipment of wheat reached 4,462,371 centals, of a 
value of $5,716,598; flour, 644,471 barrels, of a value of $2,302,606. 

The total export of 1888 reached $16,385,658. The shipment 
of salmon was 428,437 cases; the production of wool about , 
18,000,000 pounds. 

It may be noticed in relation to the foregoing statistics that they 
are to a large extent incomplete, nor always correct so far as given ; 
but they are the best to be obtained, and it is believed that the 
natural tendency to exaggeration is largely offset by the difficulty, or 
even impossibility, of finding a record of all products and exports. 
Indeed, for the purposes of this work it is not necessary that they 
should absolutely be impregnable, yet they are probably fully as 
reliable as those tabulated for other cities or other lines of 
industry. In some departments, such as salmon, wool, and to some 
extent in wheat and flour, the product of near or surrounding points 
has been undoubtedly tabulated with that of Portland; and in the 
case of wheat and flour considerable shipments have been made by 
rail to Tacoma for lading on foreign vessels. But this feature has 
now been obviated by the new pilotage laws so that port charges and 
towage on the rivers do not increase expenses of loading at Portland 
to a point above that at ports on Puget Sound. The facts given 
above show substantially the volume of business done by Portland, or 
by Portland capitalists. 

Commerce. 245 


From the preceding pages it will be noticed how Portland has 
weathered all the storms of opposition from the earliest days, and has 
advanced to and continued to hold the position as emporium of the 
Pacific Northwest. In the primitive times she proved the superiority 
of her position over points on the lower Willamette for lading and 
unlading. Having securely gained this pre-eminence she proceeded 
during the second era to emancipate herself from the commercial 
tyranny of San Francisco, and during the third to build up an 
independent commerce with the world. Since 1868 she has stood 
before the nations as an autonomous power in commercial affairs, 
acting without fear or favor, and pressing her activities on the simple 
basis of the advantages that she possessed and the facilities which 
she could give. She boldly entered upon the construction of railroad 
lines, calling in capital from California, from the East and from 
Europe, and thereby made a practical test of what she was able to 
do. If, by virtue of position and business activity, she should prove 
inferior to other points, these railroads would necessarily withdraw 
from her, her capital and population leaving her stranded upon the 
shoals of bankruptcy. But if, on the other hand, her position and 
business enterprise enabled her to serve the entire surrounding region, 
these lines of transportation would give her still greater advantages. 
Amid all vicissitudes — social, commercial and political — incident 
upon construction of railroads, Portland steadily held her own; and, 
now that these lines are completed and in operation, finds her wealth 
and population increased four or five fold. She finds herself more 
secure than ever as the emporium and business center of the Pacific 
Northwest Her present position is that accorded to her by nature, 
as the point of exchange between domestic productions and foreign 
imports, the point of supply for interior towns and country places, 
and the general depot for the stores that must somewhere be held in 
readiness for the use of the people. 

The character of her business at present is determined by that of 
the surrounding sections. While they raise wheat she must handle 

246 History of Portland. 

and sell wheat; their wool, fruit, ores, lumber, fish, coal, iron, cattle 
,and other domestic productions all figure in her lists as passing 
through her for market. 

This work being chiefly historical need not here be burdened with 
further details of commerce. It is confidently believed, however, 
that the exports of 1889 will reach a greater value than for any 
preceding year. These will, of course, be of the same character so 
far as quality or kind is concerned, as of years before. They will be 
drawn from the entire circle of valleys and mountains from the 
California and Montana borders. 

It will not be necessary to insert here a disquisition upon the 
commercial needs of Portland, nevertheless the reader will naturally 
think of the steps that must be taken to make Portland complete as 
an emporium. First of all, it remains to perfect that confidence 
between Portland and the agricultural communities which will induce 
them to rely upon her merchants. Portland must reach such friendly 
terms with the farmers and graziers that her business men may never 
with any semblance of propriety be called ' 'Shylocks. ' ' Our merchants 
must seek rather the enlargement of their sales than a large per cent, 
upon each one, knowing that a profit of even one per cent, on a 
hundred dollars, or orders worth a hundred dollars, is better than that 
of three per cent, on but twenty dollars; and the small merchants 
and dealers of the country must be encouraged to feel that they are 
made to share with Portland the advantages which result from her 
^superior natural position. 

For another thing the people of Portland must learn to regard the 
whole Northwest as in a measure their "farm." That is, they must 
feel the same interest in improving and developing the fields, forests 
and mines of all this region that the energetic farmer feels in making 
his own acres productive. Every effort must be put forth to bring 
wild lands in cultivation, to increase the area of orchards and the 
number of flocks and herds, and, if possible, to render substantial 
assistance to settlers who find the difficulties of pioneer life too great 
to be overcome. In some sections capitalists have greatly increased 
the productions of the soil, and enhanced values by selling land for 
an interest in the crop for a term of years until the purchase price 

Commerce. 247 

was liquidated. It is possible that extensive orchards and the 
cultivation of wild lands might be profitably encouraged in the same 

For the most part the business men of Portland will find it to 
their greatest advantage to encourage those kinds of industry and 
occupation as lead to the settlement of the country and to the 
introduction of families. It is to be noticed that great as has been 
the volume of money turned over by the salmon canning business of 
the country, but comparatively little real advantage has accrued to 
the State. The business itself has been grossly overdone, the supply 
of fish well nigh exhausted, and for a large part at least, but an idle, 
transitory and turbulent element of laborers attracted hither. In 
like manner the immense lumbering business of Puget Sound and the 
lower Columbia has brought no benefit proportionate to the amount 
of capital employed and the money made. Exhausted forests and 
too frequently dissatisfied and demoralized communities have followed 
in the path of the ax and saw. A lesson also may be gathered from 
the great plains of Texas and Dakota, where the cattle and wheat 
business are cultivated by a class of capitalists who are themselves 
in New York or in London, and delegate to agents the management 
of their immense herds and fields. A band of cow-boys, or a camp 
of plow-men and harvesters, for a few months in the year are the 
only inhabitants of plains and meadows that might well support 
thousands of families. By such management the utmost extravagance 
of methods is engendered. Pastures are eaten out, soils exhausted, 
and the country left in a condition inviting the English or Irish 
system of landlordism. Portland wants nothing of this. She should 
consider that it is a State filled with families, with a multitude of 
rural towns, and with productive manufactories, that makes demand 
for the immense imports which she is to store and to distribute, and 
which provides the immense exports to be exchanged for the imports. 
For this reason she will principally encourage such industries as 
fruit raising, dairying, sheep and stock raising by small farmers on 
small farms; the raising of poultry and the labor of small manufac- 
tories, and of persons in rural communities. 

248 History of Portland. 

It remains also to open up the water ways, to complete the natural 
entrance at the mouth of the Columbia river, and to unlock the 
gates of the Columbia to the whole interior. 

By such liberal policy, by breadth of plan and outlook, by 
exercise of a spirit of fraternity and accommodation, Portland will 
maintain her ascendancy. The conditions out of which monopolies 
and oppressive combinations arise will be prevented. Although 
expecting to run a hard race with San Francisco and even some 
Eastern city as Chicago, and with some local rivals for control of the 
business in certain portions of her field, she need have no fear of the 

Locally, there is room here for great lumber yards, cattle yards, 
fruit canning establishments, cold storage houses and depots of supply 
for the merchant marine, for the fishing stations of Alaska, and for 
the mines of the upper Columbia. These will come in time. 

river navigation: 

Oregon Pioneer Ship builders and River Navigators — Col. Nesmith's Account of 
Early Navigation on the Columbia and Willamette— Judge Strong's Review of the 
Growth and Development of Oregon Steamship Companies — Names and Character of 
Early Steamships and the Men who ran them — List of the Steamers Built by the Peo- 
ples' Transportation, Oregon Steamship Navigation and Oregon Railway and Naviga- 
tion Companies — Independent Vessels and Their Owners. 

IN approaching this subject one finds that, as in all other lines, 
Portland has gradually become the center of all the navigation 
companies of Oregon. To indicate the sources of her present facili- 
ties it will therefore be proper to mention the efforts made in other 
places in our State which ultimated upon Portland. This can be 
done in no manner so satisfactorily as by inserting here two extracts ; 
one of them being from a speech of Senator J. W. Nesmith, and the 
other from Hon. Win. Strong, before the Oregon Pioneer Association. 

River Navigation. 249 

The former is a racy narrative of the very earliest efforts at naviga- 
tion; and the latter shows the origin of our steamboat companies. 
Both the men named were personally cognizant of the facts in the 
case. Says Nesmith: 

It is my purpose to speak briefly of the inception of our external and internal 
commerce, as inaugurated by the efforts of the early pioneers. 

Forty years ago the few American citizens in Oregon were isolated from the out- 
side world. Some adventurous and enterprising persons conceived the idea of a vessel 
of a capacity to cross the Columbia river bar and navigate the ocean. Those persons 
were mostly old Rocky Mountain beaver trappers, and sailors who had drifted like 
waifs to the Willamette Valley. Their names were Joseph Gale, John Canan, Ralph 
Kilbourn, Pleasant Armstrong, Henry Woods, George Davis and Jacob Green. Felix 
Hathaway was employed as master ship carpenter, and Thomas Hubbard and J. L. 
Parrish did the blacksmith work. In the latter part of 1840, there was laid the keel 
of the schooner Star of Oregon, upon the east side of Swan Island, near the junction 
of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. The representatives of the Hudson's Bay Co. 
either dreading commercial competition, or doubtful about their pay, at first refused 
to furnish any supplies. But through the earnest representation of Commodore 
Wilkes — then here in command of the American exploring squadron, who offered to 
become responsible for the payment — Dr. M'lvoughlin furnished all such necessary 
articles as were in store at Vancouver. (According to another account current among 
old pioneers, the boat builders feigned to be persuaded by M'Loughlin to give up 
their plan, and go to raising wheat for him. He supplied them with ropes, nails, bag- 
ging, etc., etc., such as was necessary for agriculture, and was greatly astonished 
when in passing the island he saw his farmers industriously building the craft which 
he had attempted to inhibit, expressing his vexation in the words, ' 'Curse these 
Americans; they always do get ahead of us.") On the 19th day of May, 1841, the 
schooner was launched. She had only been planked up to the water ways, and in that 
condition was worked up to the falls of the Willamette. Owing to the destitution of 
means and the scarcity of provisions, the enterprising ship builders were compelled 
to suspend work upon their vessel until May, 1842. On the 25th of August the ves- 
sel was completed, and the crew went on board at the falls. They consisted of the 
following named persons: Joseph Gale, captain; John Canan, Pleasant Armstrong, 
Ralph Kilbourn, Jacob Green and one Indian boy ten years old. There was but one 
passenger, a Mr. Piffenhauser. Capt. Wilkes furnished them with an anchor, hawser, 
nautical instruments, a flag and a clearance. On the 12th of September, 1842, she 
crossed the bar of the Columbia, coming very near being wrecked in the breakers, 
and took latitude and departure from Cape Disappointment just as the sun touched 
the western horizon. 

That night there arose a terrific storm, which lasted thirty-six hours, during which 
Captain Gale, who was the only experienced seaman on board, never left the helm. 
The little Star behaved beautifully in the storm, and after a voyage of five days 
anchored in the foreign port of Verba Bueua, as San Francisco was then called. 

The Star was 48 feet eight inches on the keel, 53 feet eight inches over all, with 
ten feet and nine inches in the widest part, and drew in good ballast trim four feet 

250 History of Portland. 

and six inches of water. .Her frame was of swamp white oak, her knees of seasoned 
red fir roots; her beam and castings of red fir. She was clinker built, and of the 
Baltimore clipper model. She was planked with clear cedar, dressed to 1% inches, 
which was spiked to every rib with a wrought iron spike half an inch square, and 
clinched on the inside. The deck was double; and she was what is known as a fore 
and aft schooner, having no top sails, but simply fore and main sails, jib and flying 
jib. She was painted black, with a small white ribbon running from stem to stern, 
and was one of the handsomest little crafts that ever sat upon the water. Capt. Gale 
and the crew, who were the owners of the Star, sold her at the bay of San Francisco 
in the fall of 1842 to a French captain named Josa Lamonton, who had recently 
wrecked his vessel. The price was 350 cows. 

Shortly after Captain Gale arrived in San Francisco, the captains of several 
vessels then in the harbor came on board his schooner, and when passing around the 
stern read Star of Oregon, he heard them swear that there was no such port in the 

Gale and his crew remained in California all winter, and in the spring of 1843 
started to Oregon with a party of forty -two men, who brought with them an aggregate 
of 1250 head of cattle, 600 head of mares, colts, horses and mules, and 3000 sheep. 
They were seventy-five days in reaching the Willamette Valley. On their arrival 
with their herds the monopoly in stock cattle came to an end in Oregon. 

Captain Joseph Gale, the master spirit of the enterprise, was born, I believe, in the 
District of Columbia, and in his younger days followed the sea, where he obtained a 
good knowledge of navigation and seamanship. Captain Wilkes, before he would 
give him his papers, examined him satisfactorily upon these subjects. Abandoning 
the sea he found his way to the Rocky Mountains, and was for several years a 
trapper. I knew him well and lived with him in the winter of 1 843-4, and often 
listened to his thrilling adventures of the sea and land. He then had the American 
flag that Wilkes gave him, and made a sort of canopy of it, under which he slept. 
No saint was ever more devoted to his shrine than was Gale to that dear old flag. 

In the summer of 1844, Aaron Cook, a bluff old Englishman, strongly imbued 
with American sentiments, conceived the idea of building a schooner to supercede 
the Indian canoes then doing the carrying trade on the Columbia and Willamette 
rivers. Cook employed Edwin W. and M. B. Otie and myself as the carpenters to 
construct the craft. We built her in a cove or recess of the rocks just in front of 
Frank Ermotinger's house, near the upper end of Oregon City. 

None of us had any knowledge of ship-building, but by dint of perseverance we 
constructed a schooner of about thirty-five tons burthen. She was called the Cali- 
pooiah. Jack Warner did the caulking, paying and rigging. Warner was a young 
Scotchman with a good education, which he never turned to any practical account. 
He ran away from school in the "Land o' Cakes" and took to the sea, where he 
picked up a good deal of knowledge pertaining to the sailors' craft. I recollect one 
day when Jack, with a kettle of hot pitch and a long-handled swab, was pitching the 
hull of the Calipooiah, he was accosted by an "uncouth Missourian," who had 
evidently never seen anything of the kind before, with an inquiry as to his occu- 
pation. Jack responded in broad Scotch: "I am a landscape painter by profession, 
and am doing a wee bit of adornment for Capt. Cook's schooner." 


River Navigation. 251 

In the month of August, 1844, we had launched and finished the Calipooiah and 
went on a pleasure excursion to the mouth of the Columbia. The crew and passen- 
gers consisted of Captain Aaron Cook, Jack Warner, Jack Campbell, Rev. A. F. 
Waller and family, W. H. Gray and wife, A. B. Wilson, Robert Shortess, W. W. 
Raymond, E. W. Otie, M. B. Otie and J. W. Nesmith. There might have been others 
on board; if so, their names have escaped me. The after portion had a small cabin, 
which was given up for the accommodation of the ladies and children- Forward was 
a box filled with earth, upon which a fire was made for cooking purposes. We had 
our own blankets and slept upon the deck. The weather was delightful, and we 
listlessly drifted down the Willamette and Columbia rivers, sometimes aided by the 
wind. Portland was then a solitude like any other part of the forest-clad bank. 
There were then no revenue officers here under pretense of "protecting" American 
industries, and no custom house boat boarded us. 

In four days we reached Astoria, or Fort George, as the single old shanty on the 
place, in charge of an old Scotchman, was called. The river was full of fish, and the 
shores abounded in game. We had our rifles along, and subsisted upon wild delicacies. 
There were then numerous large Indian villages along the margin of the river, and 
the canoes of the natives were rarely out of sight. The Indians often came on board 
to dispose of salmon ; their price was a bullet and a charge of powder for a fish. 

The grand old river existed then in its natural state, as Lewis and Clark found it 
forty years before. I believe that there was but one American settler's cabin on the 
banks of the Columbia from its source to the ocean. That was on the south side of 
the river, and belonged to Henry Hunt and Ben Wood, who were building a saw-mill 
at that point. 

On an Island near Cathlamet some of us went ashore to visit a large Indian village, 
where the natives lived in large and comparatively comfortable houses. They showed 
us some articles which they said were presented to them by Lewis and Clarke, among 
which were a faded cotton handkerchief and a small mirror, about two inches square, 
in a small tin case. The corners of the case were worn off and the sides worn through 
by much handling. The Indians seemed to regard the articles with great venera- 
tion, and would not dispose .of them to us for any price we were able to offer. 

The only vessel we saw in the river was Her Majesty's sloop-of-war Modeste, of 
eighteen guns, under command of Capt. Thomas Bailie. We passed her in a long 
nich in the river, as she lay at anchor. We had a spanking breeze, and, with all our 
sail set and the American flag flying at our mast-head, we proudly ran close under her 
broadside. A long line of officers and sailors looked down over the hammocks and 
from the quarter-deck at our unpainted and primitive craft in apparently as much 
astonishment as if we were the Flying- Dutchman or some other phantom ship from 
the moon to plant the Stars and Stripes upon the neutral waters of the Columbia. ' ' 

The steamer Eliza Anderson, launched November 27, 1858, was entirely built 
at Portland, of Oregon fir timber, and at this date, July, 1889, is running on Puget 
Sound with most of her original timber as apparently sound as the day it was put in 

252 History of Portland. 

Judge Strong, at one time attorney of the old O. S. N. Company, 
succinctly begins his narrative at the annual meeting of the Pioneer 
Association in 1878 by stating what he found upon reaching the 

Astoria at that time was a small place, or rather two places, the upper and lower 
town, between which there was great rivalry. They were about a mile apart, with no 
road connecting them except by water and along the beach. The upper town was 
known to the people of lower Astoria as " Adair ville." The lower town was 
designated by its rival as "Old Fort George," or " McClure's Astoria." A road 
between the two places would have weakened the differences of both, isolation being 
the protection of either. In the upper town was the custom house, in the lower two 
companies of the First U. S. Engineers, under command of Major J. S. Hathaway. 
There were not, excepting the military and those attached to them, and the custom 
house officials, to the best of my recollection, to exceed twenty-five men in both 

At the time of our arrival in the country there was considerable commerce carried 
on, principally in sailing vessels, between the Columbia river and San Francisco. 
The exports were chiefly lumber ; the imports generally merchandise. 

The Pacific Mail steamer Caroline had made a trip in the month of May or June, 
1850, bringing up furniture for the Grand Hotel at Pacific City, and as passengers, 
Dr. Elijah White, Judge Alonzo Skinner, J. D. Holman and others, who were the 
founders and proprietors of the city. Some of the proprietors still live, but the city 
has been long since buried and the place where it stood has returned to the primeval 
forest from which it was taken. The Mail Company's steamers Oregon and Panama 
had each made one trip to the river that summer, but regular mail service by steamer 
from San Francisco was not established until the arrival of the steamer Columbia in 
the winter or spring of 1850-5 1. The usual length of time of receiving letters from 
the States was from six weeks to two months. It took, however, three months to 
send and get an answer from an interior State, and postage on a single letter was forty 
cents. After the arrival of the Columbia, they came with great regularity once a 
month, and a year or two afterwards semi-monthly. 

In 1852 the railroad across the Isthmus was completed, thus greatly improving 
that route. A route had been established across Nicaragua, which for a time was 
quite popular, but was finally abandoned on account of internal disturbances in the 
country, in part, and in part on account of competition and increased facilities upon 
the Isthmus route. The date when the Nicaragua route commenced to be used and 
was discontinued I am not able at this time to give. The price of passage by the 
Isthmus route, before their oppositton, was from $200 to $250, which included only a 
limited amount of baggage. Freights were extraordinarily high, amounting to a 
prohibition upon all excepting merchandise. 

In 1857 the Overland Stage Company was organized and commenced carrying the 
letter mail between St. Joe, Missouri, and Placerville, California, under a contract 
with the Postmaster General, under an act of Congress, approved March 3d, 1857. 
The act authorized a semi-monthly, weekly, or semi-weekly service, at a cost per 
annum not exceeding $300, 000 for semi-monthly, $450,000 for weekly, and $600,000 

River Navigation. 253 

for semi-weekly service— the mail to be carried in good four-horse coaches or spring 
wagons, suitable for passengers, through in twenty-five days. The original contract 
was for six years, but was extended, and the line run until the railroad was completed 
in 1869. After the route was opened, twenty-two days was the schedule time. The 
stages run full both ways, fare $250. The starting and arrival of the stages were 
great events at both ends of the line. A pony express from San Francisco to St. Joe 
was started in 1859, and run about a year and a half. It made the trip in ten days. 

The first river steamboat in Oregon was the Columbia, built by General Adair, 
Captain Dan Frost and others, at Upper Astoria in 1850. She was a side-wheel boat, 
ninety feet in length, of about seventy-five tons burthen, capable of accommodating 
not to exceed twenty passengers, though I have known of her carrying on one trip 
over one hundred. Though small, her cost exceeded $25,000. Mechanics engaged 
in her construction were paid at the rate of sixteen dollars per day, and other laborers 
five to eight dollars, gold. She made her first trip in June, 1850, under the command 
of Capt. Fros; McDermott, engineer. It generally took about twenty-four hours to 
make the trip. She tied up nights and in foggy weather. Fare was twenty-five 
dollars each way. She was an independent little craft, and not remarkably accom- 
modating, utterly ignoring Lower Astoria. All freight and passengers must come on 
board at the upper town. She ran for a year or two, when her machinery was taken 
out and put into the Fashion. Her hull afterwards floated out to sea. 

The Lot Whitcomb, also a side-wheeler, was the next. She was built at Milwaukie, 
then one of the most lively and promising towns in Oregon, by Lot Whitcomb, Col. 
Jennings, S. S. White and others and launched on Christmas Day, 1850. That was a 
great day in Oregon. Hundreds from all parts of the Territory came to witness the 
launch. The festivities were kept up for three days and nights. There was music 
instrumental — at least, I heard several fiddles —and vocal, dancing and feasting. The 
whole city was full of good cheer; every house was open and all was free of charge — 
no one would receive pay. Sleeping accommodations were rather scarce, but there 
was plenty to keep one awake. 

The Lot Whitcomb had a fine model, a powerful engine, and was staunch and 
fast. Her keel was 12x14 inches, 160 feet long, a solid stick of Oregon fir. Her 
burden was 600 tons, had a 17-inch cylinder, 7-feet stroke and cost about $80, 000. 
She proved a safe and comfortable boat. Fare upon her was reduced to $15 between 
Portland and Astoria. She ran upon Oregon waters until the latter part of 1853, 
when she was taken to San Francisco and ran for some years on the Sacramento. 
Captain John C. Ainsworth took command. This was his first steamboating in 
Oregon. Jacob Kamm was her engineer. Captain Ainsworth was from Iowa, where 
he had been engaged in steamboating on the Mississippi between St. Louis and 
Galena about five years. He was a young man about twenty-eight years of age when 
he commenced in Oregon, and had nothing to begin with but the ordinary capital of 
an Oregon pioneer — a sound head, a brave heart, willing hands, energy and fidelity 
to trust. I have known him through his whole career in Oregon. The fortune and 
position he has acquired are not the result of accident or chance, but have been 
secured by industry, integrity, ability, hard labor and prudence. Such fortune and 
such position come to all who work as hard, as long and well as Captain Ainsworth. 

Jacob Kamm, the engineer, was the right man in the right place on such a boat, 
under such a captain. He proved himself skillful and prudent; no accident ever 

254 History of Portland. 

occurred through his want of skill and care during the long period in which he ran as 
engineer on Oregon steamboats. The fortune he has acquired has been built up by 
hard labor, increased and preserved by skill and prudence. 

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company, a New York corporation which had the 
mail contract between Panama and Oregon, brought out a large iron steamer called 
the Willamette. She was built for the company at Wilmington, Delaware, and 
brought around Cape Horn under sail as a three masted schooner, arriving in the fall 
of 1851. She was soon fitted up and commenced running, under Captain Durbrow, 
between Portland and Astoria in connection with the company's sea steamer. She 
was an elegant boat in all her appointments, had fine accommodation for passengers, 
and great freight capacity. In fact, she was altogether too large for the trade, and in 
August, 1852, her owners took her to California and ran her on the Sacramento. One 
good thing she did, she put fare down to $10. Pare on this route went down slowly; 
first $26, then $15, then $10, then $8, and then $3; it is now $2. It is only within a 
few years that the passenger trade on the lower Columbia has been of any considerable 
value, or would support a single weekly steamboat. It has now become of more 

Time will only permit me to touch upon the important e\-ents which make eras in 
the commerce of Oregon. 

Navigation upon the Willamette above the falls at Oregon City by steamboats was 
opened by the Hoosier, built at Oregon City below the falls and taken up early in 
1851. She ran between Canemah and Dayton on the Yamhill. 

Karly in 1851 Abernethy & Co's barque, the Success, from New York, arrived at 
Oregon City with a general cargo of merchandise and three steamboats; two of them 
were small iron propellers, and the third, the Multnomah, was a side-wheel boat 
built of wood. The Eagle was very little larger than an ordinary ship's yawl-boat. 
She was owned and run between Portland and Oregon City by Captains William 
Wells and Richard Williams. When W T ells was captain, Williams was mate, fireman 
and all hands; when Captain Dick took the wheel, Wells became the crew. She 
carried freight for $15 per ton, passengers $5 each. Pretty good pay for a twelve 
mile route. She made more money according to her size than any boat in Oregon. 
Out of her earnings the owners built the iron steamboat Belle, and made themselves 
principal owners in the Senorita — two, for that day, first-class steamboats. The 
Washington was somewhat larger, owned by Alexander S. Murray, who commanded 
her. He took the boat up above the falls in June, 1851, run her there until the fall 
or winter of 1851-2, when he brought her down and run her between Portland and 
Oregon City until the spring of 1853, when she was again taken above the falls, 
where she ran until July of the same year, when her owners there, Allan McKinley & 
Co., brought her below and sent her under steam around to the Umpqua river. She 
arrived there in safety, crossing the bars of both rivers, and ended her days there in 
the service of her owners. She was known after her sea voyage as the "Bully Wash- 
ington" The only money ever made out of her was made b}^ her first owner, Capt. 
Murray. He was a sharp Scotchman, came from Australia here and returned there 
when he left Oregon. He is said to be the father of internal navigation in Australia. 
He made money, and when I last heard of him was engaged in the navigation of 
Murray's river, which empties into the ocean at Adelaide. 

River Navigation. 255 

The next and most famous of the steamers that were brought out after the Success 
was the Multnomah . She came in sections, and was set up at Canemah by two or 
three army or navy officers of the United States, who had brought her out, Doctors 
Gray and Maxwell and Captain Binicle; was built of oak staves two inches in thick- 
ness and of the width and length of ordinary boat plank, bound with hoops made of 
bar iron, keyed up on the gunwales; was 100 feet in length, with good machinery, and 
like her principal owner, Dr. Gray, fastidiously nice in all her appointments. She 
had no timbers except her deck beams and the frame upon which her engine and 
machinery rested; was as staunch as iron and oak could make her, It was as difficult 
to knock her to pieces from the outside as it is for a boy to kick in a well hooped bar- 
rel. She commenced running above the falls shortly after the Washington, and run 
there — her highest point being Corvallis, then Marysville — until May, 1852, when she 
was brought below on ways in a cradle, and thereafter run on the lower Willamette 
and Columbia, part of the time making three trips a week to Oregon City and three 
trips to the Cascades. She brought down many of the emigrants of 1852. She fell 
into the hands of Abernethy & Co., and in the winter and spring of 1853, ran 
between Portland and Oregon City in connection with the Lot Whitcomb. On the 
failure of Abernethy & Co. ; she fell into the hands of their creditors and had different 
captains every few trips for a year or two. She was then purchased by Captain Rich- 
ard Hoyt, and run on the lower Columbia route until his death in the winter or spring 
of 1861-2. She finally came into the hands of the Oregon Steam Navigation Com- 
pany, and after much more useful service laid her bones in the bone -yard below Port- 

About the same time, 1851, a small wooden boat, a propeller, called the Black 
Hawk, ran between Portland and Oregon City. She made money very rapidly for 
her owners. 

The other boats built for or run above the falls of the Willamette were the Portland, 
built opposite Portland, in 1853, by A. S. Murray, John Torrance and James Clinton. 
She was afterwards taken above the falls where she ran for some time. On the 17th 
of March, 1857, she was carried over the falls in high water, leaving hardly a 
vestige of the boat, and drowning her captain, Arthur Jamison, and one deck hand. 

There was the Canemah, side-wheels, built in 1851, by A. F. Hedges, afterwards 
killed by the Indians in Colonel Kelly's fight on the Touchet in 1856; Alanson Beers 
and Hamilton Campbell. She ran between Canemah and Corvallis. The heaviest 
load she ever carried was 35 tons. Passage on her was $5 to Salem. She made little 
or no money for her owners though she had a mail contract. 

The Oregon, built and owned by Ben Simpson & Co., in 1852, was a side- wheel 
boat of good size, but proved very poor property. 

The Shoalwater, built by the owners of the Canemah, in 1852-3, as a low-water 
boat, commanded by Captain Lem White, the pioneer captain upon the upper Colum- 
bia, proved to be a failurs. She changed her name several times, was the Phoenix, 
Franklin, and Minnie Holmes. Her bad luck followed her under every alias. In the 
spring of 1854, she collapsed a flue near Rock Island while stopping at a landing. 
None were killed, but several were more or less seriously injured and all badly scared. 
H. N. V. Holmes, a prominent resident of Polk county, was badly injured, but jumped 
overboard and swam across the river to the eastern shore before he knew that he was 

256 History of Portland. 

Next was the Willamette, also built by the owners of the Canemah, in 1853. She 
was a large and expensive boat of the Mississippi style; run above the falls until 
July, 1854, when she was taken below, and in the fall of the same year was sold and 
taken to California. She proved a failure everywhere and came near breaking her 
owners. The current seemed to be against her whether she ran up or down stream. 

In the summer of 1853 a company of California capitalists bought the land and 
built a basin and warehouse on the west side of the Willamette at .the falls, near 
where the canal and locks now are. Their first boat was burned on the stocks 
October 6, 1853. The second was the ill-fated Gazelle, a large and beautiful side- 
wheel steamer. She made her first trip on the 18th of March, 1854. On the 5th 
of April, 1854, when lying at Canemah, her boiler exploded, causing great loss of 
lives. Over twenty persons were killed outright, and as many wounded, three or 
four of whom died shortly afterwards. The Rev. J. P. Miller, a Presbyterian 
minister, of Albany, in this State, the father of Mrs. Judge Wilson, now a widow and 
postmaster at The Dalles (postmistress is not known under the postoffice laws) ; Mrs. 
Kelly, wife of Col. Kelly, late U. S. Senator from this State, now resident of Portland, 
and Mrs. Grover, the wife of Gen. Cuvier Grover. Many other valuable citizens of 
Oregon were among the killed. The wreck was bought by Captains R. Hoyt, William 
Wells and A. S. Murray, taken down over the falls on the 11th day of August, 1855, 
and converted into the Senorita, of which I have before spoken. The warehouse 
company afterwards built the 'Oregon, which was sunk and proved a total loss. The 
property passed into other hands ; the buildings were afterwards burned, and all was 
swept away in the flood of December, 1861. 

The first stern-wheeler upon the upper Willamette was the Enterprise, built in the 
fall of 1855, by Archibald Jamison (a brother of the one lost on the Portland when 
she went over the falls, in March, 1854), Captain A. S. Murray, Armory Holbrook, 
John Torrance and others. She was 115 feet in length, fifteen feet in width, and had 
neat cabin appointments. She run on the upper river under Captain Jamison — the 
first really successful boat on that part of the river — and after some years' service was 
sold to Captain Tom Wright, son of Commodore, better known as " Bully " Wright, 
of San Francisco, who took her to Frazier river on the breaking out of the mines 
there, where she finished her course ; as I now recollect, she was blown up. 

In 1856 Captains Cochrane, Gibson, Cassidy and others built the James Clinton, 
afterwards called the Surprise. She was in her day the largest and best stern-wheeler 
upon the Willamette. 

The Success, built at a later period by Captain Baughman, belied her name, and 
had a short and unprofitable career. 

There were other steamboats during this time and afterwards upon that portion of 
the river which time forbids me to name. What I have already stated is sufficient to 
give a general idea of the growth of navigation up to the time when corporations 
commenced their operation. These boats that I have named, and others built and 
owned by private individuals, held the field until 1862-3, when the People's Trans- 
portation Company, a corporation under the general incorporation law of Oregon, 
entered upon its career. They built the canal, basin and warehouse on the east side 
of the river, and carried on a profitable trade between Portland and the various points 
up the river, finally selling out to Ben Holladay, who, with his railroad and river 
steamboats, then held command of the trade of the entire Willamette Valley. 

River Navigation. 257 

An account of the internal commerce of Oregon would be incomplete without a 
history of the origin and growth of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. I shall 
speak of it historically only, how it originated and what it has accomplished 
Whether its influence has been good or bad, whether, on the whole, it has been or is 
likely to be detrimental to the true interests of our people, are questions that are not to be 
discussed here. Time will only permit me to give a brief sketch of the prominent 
points in its history. It is an Oregon institution, established by Oregon men who 
made their start in Oregon. Its beginnings were small, but it has grown to great 
importance under the control of the men who originated it. 

In April, 1859, the owners of the steamboats Carrie Ladd, Senorita and Belle, 
which had been plying between Portland and Cascades, represented by Captain J. C. 
Ainsworth, agent, the Mountain Buck, by Col. J. C. Ruckel, its agent, the Bradford 
horse railroad, between the middle and upper Cascades, by its owners, Bradford & Co., 
who also had a small steamboat plying between the Cascades and The Dalles, entered 
into a mutual arrangement to form a transportation line between The Dalles and Port- 
land, under the name and style of Union Transportion Company. There were some 
other boats running on that route, the Independence and Wasco, in the control of 
Alexander Ankney and George W. Vaughn ; also the Flint and Fashion, owned by 
Captain J. O. Van Bergen. As soon as practicable, these interests were harmonized 
or purchased. 

At this time freights were not large between Portland and the upper Columbia, and 
the charges were high. There was no uniform rule ; the practice was to charge 
according to the exigency of the case. Freights had been carried in sail boats from 
Portland to the Cascades at twenty dollars per ton. I have before me an advertise- 
ment in an early number of the Weekly Oregonian, that the schooner Henry, owned 
by F. A. Chenoweth, now a practicing lawyer at Corvallis, and George L. Johnson, 
would carry at that rate. 

On the 29th of December, 1860, there being then no law under which a corpora- 
tion could be established in Oregon — the proprietors of the Union Transportation 
Line procured from the Washington Territory Legislature an act incorporating J. C. 
Ainsworth, D. F. Bradford, S. G. Reed, R. R. Thompson and their associates under 
the name and style of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. R. R. Thompson 
and Lawrence Coe, who then first became interested with the other parties, had built 
a small steamboat called the Col. Wright, above The Dalles, which went into the line 
and made up their shares of the capital stock. This was the second boat they had 
built at that point. The first, when partially completed, was carried over the falls 
and down the river in high water. There the hull was sold, fitted up and taken to 
Frazer river on the breaking out of the gold mine excitement in British Columbia, and 
much to the credit of its builders, made the highest point ever reached by a steamboat 
on that river. 

The Oregon Steam Navigation Company, or O. S. N. Co., as it has been more 
generally called and known since organized under the act, J. C. Ainsworth was the 
first president, and with the exception of a single year, when J. C. Ruckel held the 
position, has been its president ever since. Its principal office was located at 
Vancouver, and its property formed no inconsiderable addition to the taxable 
property of Washington Territory. It might have remained there until this time, 
had it received fair treatment. But the citizens thought they had the goose that laid 

258 History of Portland. 

the golden egg, and they killed it. By unfriendly legislation and unjust taxation the 
company was driven from the Territory, and in October, 1862, it incorporated under 
the general act of Oregon, where it has ever since existed an Oregon corporation; in fact 
as it has always been in ownership and name. Its railroads, steamboats, warehouses 
wharf-boats and wharves have all been built and established by the company without 
public aid except the patronage by the public after they were completed. 

All its founders started poor. They have accomplished nothing that has not been 
equally within the power of others by the exercise of equal foresight, labor and per- 
severance. They had no exclusive rights. The rivers are wide enough for all the 
steamers which can be built, and the passes at the Cascades and The Dalles are broad 
enough for all the railroads that may be found desirable. They are still unoccupied 
and open to all. 

The O. S. N. Co. have diminished the price of carrying freight and passengers, 
whenever it has established lines from the great cost of transportation of the early times; 
fares have come down to $5 between Portland and The Dalles; $12 to Wallula; $20 to 
Lewiston; $2 to Astoria, and freights have been correspondingly reduced. Wheat and 
flour were last season brought down from Lewiston for $8, and from Wallula for $6 
per ton, including handling over the boat lines and two railroads. 

Of one thing the citizens of Oregon may well boast. Taking into consideration 
what has been done by private enterprise alone, there is no young State in the Union 
where so much in the way of internal improvements has been accomplished in so short 
a time. 

The canal and locks in the Willamette at Oregon City, in the main constructed by 
private means, have worked wonders for the commerce on that river. Their original 
cost was nearly half a million dollars. Soon we may hope to see the canal and locks 
at the Cascades, completed by the United States, which will be of equal value to the 
commerce upon the Columbia river. ' ' 

An entire volume might be filled with an account of the early 
efforts of the O. S. N. and P. T. Co., of their successes, and the 
adventures of their captains, as Baughman, the Coes, the Grays, 
Stump, M'Nulty, Snow, Pease and Troupe; and the tales of river 
and shore that spring up in the aquatic life of every community. 
But space forbids any such enticing enlargement, and instead we 
must be content with a list of the steamers which were built by the 
Peoples' Transportation, or Oregon Steam Navigation Co., or have 
come into possession of the O. R. & N. Co. — which absorbed both 
the P. T. and the O. N. Co., under the management of Villard. 
For this we are indebted to Captain Troupe and Mr. Atwood, of the 
O. R. &N. Co. 

Idaho, side wheeler, 178 tons, built in 1860 ; Col. Wright, stern 
wheeler, built in 1861; Tenino, stern wheeler, built in 1861; Nez 

River Navigation. 259 

Perces Chief, stern wheeler, built in 1863 ; Enterprise, stern wheeler, 
built in 1863; Senator, stern wheeler, built in 1863; Oneonta, side 
wheeler, built in 1863; John H. Couch, side wheeler, built in 1863; 
Iris, stern wheeler, built in 1864; Active, stern wheeler, built 1865; 
Webfoot, built in 1865; Alert, stern wheeler, built in 1865; Okana- 
gon, stern wheeler, built in 1866; Shoshone, stern wheeler, built in 
1866; Rescue, Spray and Lucius, stern wheelers, built in 1868; 
Yakima, stern wheeler, built in 1869; Emma Hay ward \ 
stern wheeler, 756 tons, built in 1870; McMinnville, stern wheeler, 
420 tons, built in 1870; Dixie Thompson, stern wheeler, 276 tons, 
built in 1871; E. N Cooke, stern wheeler, 299 tons, built in 1871; 
Daisy Ainsworth, built in 1872; New Tenino, stern wheeler, built 
in 1872; Alice, stern wheeler, 334 tons, built in 1873; Welcome, 
stern wheeler, 250 tons, built in 1874; Bonita, stern wheeler, 376 
tons, built in 1875; Orient, stern wheeler, 429 tons, built in 1875; 
Occident, stern wheeler, 429 tons, built in 1875; Champion, stern 
wheeler, 502 tons, built in 1875; Almata, stern wheeler, 395 tons, 
built in 1876; S. T. Church, stern wheeler, 393 tons, built in 1876; 
Ocklahama, stern wheeler, 394 tons, built in 1876; Annie Faxon, 
stern wheeler, 564 tons, built in 1877; Wide West, stern wheeler, 
928 tons, built in 1877; Mountain Queen, stern wheeler, 500 tons, 
built in 1877; Spokane, stern wheeler, 531 tons, built in 1877; 
Bonanza, stern wheeler, 467 tons, built in 1877; Northwest, stern 
wheeler, 274 tons, built in 1877; R. A. Thompson, stern wheeler, 
912 tons, built in 1878; S. G. Reed, stern wheeler, 607 tons, built 
in 1878; Harvest Queen, stern wheeler, 697 tons, built in 1878; 
John Gates, stern wheeler, 551 tons, built in 1878; Willamette 
Chief, stern wheeler, 523 tons, built in 1878; D. S. Baker, stern 
wheeler, 566 tons, built in 1879; Hassalo, stern wheeler, 350 tons, 
built in 1880; Olympia, side wheeler, 1083 tons, built in 1883; 
Escort, tug, built in 1883; Alaskan, side wheeler, 1257 tons, built 
in 1883; S.J. Potter, side wheeler, built in 1887; Sea Home, side 
wheeler, built in 1889; Modoc, stern wheeler, built in 1889; Wal- 
lowa, tug, built in 1889. Of the Gov. Grover, Owyhee, Minnehaha, 
Josie McNear, Mountain Buck, Cowlitz, Belle, Eagle, Express and 
tug Donald, owned and operated by the companies named, we have 
been unable to learn when they were built. 

260 History of Portland. 

Aside from the O. R. and N. Co., and its predecessors there have 
always been a few independent steamers on the river, making their 
head quarters at Portland, such as the Fannie Troup, Salem, Man- 
zanillo, Traveler, Lurline, G. W. Shaver, and local craft. One of 
the most indefatigable of our independent navigators is Capt. V. B. 
Scott, with his two Telephones, the first of which was destroyed by 
fire; river racers equal to anything of which the world has record. 
Another very solid company is that of Joseph Kellogg & Son, having 
two good steamboats, the Joseph Kellogg and Toledo and making a 
specialty of navigation upon small streams, particularly the 

With the exception of a few of the older craft on the Willamette 
and the new iron ships Olympian and Alaskan, all the boats named 
were built in Oregon. 

With the opening of the Columbia to British Columbia, our 
inland navigation will assume a hundred fold greater proportions. 

It may be remarked, however, that the Columbia river steamers 
are a swift and powerful class of vessels; built for adlual hard 
service, and having a certain individuality of their own. Under John 
Gates many improvements were made, the stern wheel developed to 
its full power, and the perils of our rapid and great current overcome 
by the hydraulic steering gear. Some of them have reached the 
high speed of twenty miles per hour, and all have been able to over- 
come a ten and twelve mile current. As the most magnificent of 
swimming animals have been developed in the Columbia, so we may 
expect the finest swimmers of man's construction to be made on its 

Railroads. 261 



Portland's Advantages as a Railroad Centre — Karly Struggles for a Railroad — 
Curious Features of the Contest — Labors of Simon B. Elliott, George H. Belden, 
Col. Charles Belden and Joseph Gaston — First Survey by Barry and Gaston — Report 
by Col. Barry — Provisions of the First Railroad Bill Passed by the Oregon Legis- 
lature and United States* Congress — The Importance of Provisions Suggested by Col. 
W. W. Chapman — Organization of the First Railroad Company in Oregon — Formation 
of a Rival Company — Contest over the Land Grant — Interesting Ceremonies in 
Connection with Commencement of Construction of the West Side Road — Progress 
of the Work — Bitter Warfare Between the two Companies— The Fight Carried into the 
Courts — The Legal Aspect of the Contest — Advent of Ben Holladay — His Character 
and Methods — Efforts to Build to the Atlantic States — Labors of Col. Chapman — 
Henry Villard and the Northern Pacific — The Southern Pacific — Prominent Railroad 
Managers of Portland — The Narrow Guage System. 

PORTLAND is now well supplied with railway connection, not 
only with all parts of the Northwest, but with the whole of 
North America. She is the terminus of three transcontinental 
lines — the Northern Pacific, by the O. R. & N. and the Oregon 
Short Iyine, and the Union Pacific systems, respectively, and of the 
Southern Pacific by the Oregon and California Railway. She is also 
a terminus of the Northern Pacific on its own rails across the Cascade 
mountains and by way of Tacoma and Kalama, and, by the routes on 
Puget Sound, communicates directly with the Canadian Pacific. The 
Oregon Pacific, which is pushing out across middle Oregon for 
a junction in Idaho with still another continental line, although 
maintaining a terminus at Yaquina Bay, will also seek Portland, 
making the fifth line from across the mountains that ultimates upon 
our city as the chief, or at least co-important, objective. The next 
line from the East will probably come down the north bank of the 
Columbia, reaching our depots by way of Vancouver. 

Aside from these main lines, our city is also served by a number 
of local roads. Standing first among these is the Oregon Central, to 
Corvallis, on the west side of the Willamette, operating a line ninety- 
seven miles in length. A still greatei: mileage is run by the Oregonian 
Railway Company's lines, the Portland and Willamette Valley Road, 

262 History of Portland. 

the extension of the narrow guage system, on each side of the Wil- 
lamette — to Sheridan and Airlie on the west and Coburg on the east. 
Another extensive line is in process of construction from Astoria to 
some point on the Oregon Central — Hillsboro — which, although 
chiefly for the accommodation of Astoria and the western part of the 
Willamette Valley, will connect a large region with Portland and 
open it up to the enterprise of her merchants. There is talk of 
constructing a line from Hunter's Point, opposite Kalama, to 
Astoria, thereby furnishing a road to the mouth of the river, paral- 
leling the Columbia and making passage more expeditious for 
summer travelers to the ocean beaches. 

Of strictly local lines, i. e., of lines less than twenty miles in 
length and aiming to do only local business, chiefly passenger traffic 
for the benefit of the suburbs, there are four lines in active operation 
— to Vancouver, to St. John's, to Mt. Tabor and the Hawthorne 
Avenue line, also terminating at Mt Tabor, and the cable line to 
Portland Heights. At least three others are in process of construc- 
tion — to Oregon City, the Waverly-Woodstock line and the line to 
West Portland. Several other lines are projected, as that to Marquam's 
Hill and a line around the hills on the northwest of the city. Some 
of these will doubtless develop into longer lines — as the Hawthorne 
Avenue road, a standard guage, which is popularly expected to be 
pushed out to the Sandy river and to Mt. Hood. 

From this glance it will be seen that of all roads built and 
extending beyond the city limits, so as not to be enumerated with the 
street car lines, there are eight; there are building four, not including 
the Astoria road, which will enter by the Oregon Central; and two or 
three more are on the tapis. This list shows prodigious railroad 
activity, and the fact that all the lines are well sustained and do a 
paying business shows the dimensions of our freight and passenger 
traffic. The eagerness for further construction, and the large prices 
paid for privileges in the city, indicate that even our present extensive 
system is not complete. It is the purpose of this chapter to give 
something of the history ."of the building of these roads and develop- 
ment of transportation by rail. 

Railroads. 263 

Turning to the history of railroad construction in Oregon, we find 
there was very early agitation of the subject. In 1850 a line was 
projected, and even advertised to be run, from St. Helen's on the 
Columbia, to Lafayette, in Yamhill county. It was under the 
patronage of Captains Knighton, Smith, Tappen and Crosby. Of 
course, it was never begun. General J. J. Stevens, in 1853 and for 
the years succeeding, wrote voluminously upon railroad connection 
with the East, and four roads were projected (not all to the East), one 
being incorporated. In 1854 a charter was granted a road to Cali- 
fornia, to begin at a point below the falls of the Willamette. In 
1857 a company was formed to build a road to Yaquina Bay. None 
of these were constructed, however, and no rails were laid, except on 
the portage lines at the Cascades and Dalles, and a tramway at 
Oregon City, before the days of the Oregon Central. 

The development of the railways of Portland is that of the State. 
There was practically nothing accomplished for our roads outside of 
Portland, or without Portland men. True, it is not to be forgotten 
that there was a considerable number of representative men of other 
sections who entered with lively interest into encouraging railroads, 
and became identified with the first enterprise. J. S. Smith and I. 
R. Moores, of Salem; T. R. Cornelius, of Washington County; 
Robert Kinney, of Yamhill; and General Joel Palmer, of the same; 
Colonel J. W. Nesmith, of Polk; Judge F. A. Chenoweth, of Benton; 
Stukeley Ellsworth and B. J. Pengra, of Eane, and Jesse Applegate, 
of Douglas, were among this number. Other names might be added. 
They were active in interesting the people of their several localities 
in the construction of railroads and without their aid difficulties 
would have multiplied. The very first movements toward a road — 
in 1863 — moreover, came from California, with Elliott and Barry. 
The most radical and active mover was first a citizen of Jacksonville, 
in Southern Oregon. Quite a considerable portion of the first 
impetus came from the desire to have direct communication with 
San Francisco, so that the people of Southern Oregon and the upper 
Willamette Valley need not be obliged to make a circuitous route 
through Portland, or sell and buy in her market and pay tolls on 
passing up and down the .lower Columbia and Willamette. The 

264 History of Portland. 

Californians first agitating the project certainly had no aim other 
than to extend the tributary region of San Francisco. But with all 
this in view it still remains the fact that it was upon Portland that 
all the railway activity centered and she proved to be the only point 
from which to operate successfully. We are therefore justified in 
speaking of the railway development of Portland as that of the State, 
and dating the nativity of her lines from the first efforts in 1863. 
Whoever accomplished much in the business had to become Port- 

The story of our first railroads is interesting, romantic and 
dramatic. One is astonished at the intense earnestness, the violent, 
contentions, the lurid combats, the savagery, the cunning, the 
bluster and the ludicrous or pathetic denouements. There are 
situations of the most amazing oddity; old and hitherto most amiable 
and dignified citizens of our State finding themselves perked in 
hyperbolical inversion before a gaping and mystified public, who 
were in doubt whether to break into a guffaw or to look with feigned 
nonchalance upon what they supposed must be a new era in morals 
introduced with a railroad age. What with plethoric promises of 
lands quadrupled in value, of produce doubled, and visions of the 
wealth of Aladin, and an inner feeling of the heart that the old order 
of toil and honesty was somehow to be superceded by an age of 
gigantic speculations in which wealth by the millions was to be 
created by corporate fiat, and the fundamental rules of arithmetic 
and of ancient law were to be transmitted into something easier if 
not better, our railroad building introduced a time at once amusing 
and pathetic, as well as pecuniarily progressive. The former phase 
of the subject must, however, be left to the student of human nature, 
or to the homilist. Like all great changes in the habits and outlook 
of the people, it was accompanied by an excitation of much ambition, 
rivalry, passion, and at length a general cloud burst of indignation 
and censure; but worked its way through to a beneficent result. 

To begin with a somewhat bare account of all this, we find that 
in 1863 there was a Californian toiling up from the land of gold 
and droughts, through the valleys of the Sacramento and Shasta, 
with a surveying party, to run a line for a railroad from the 

Railroads. 265 

Sacramento to the Columbia river. This was Simon G. Elliott, of 
Marysville, who had but recently been listening to the expositions, 
prophecies and demonstrations of Judah, the first preacher in 
California of the Pacific railway. In the spring he had been in 
Eugene City, Oregon, and there interested Mr. George H. Belden, 
formerly of Portland, in his enterprise, and during the season of '63 
the two were running the level, chain and transit from Red Bluff, 
California, to Jacksonville, in Oregon. There were twelve men in 
the surveying party, and accompanying it as general superintendent 
was Colonel Charles Barry, recently from the seat of civil war then 
raging, having resigned from the army on account of a wound 
received in the battle of Shiloh. This was purely an autonomous 
party, without legal father or mother or sponsor capitalists; spying 
out a railroad path for its own satisfaction, and having no means of 
subsistence except from contributions on the way. The land, 
although rugged and but sparsely populated, was sufficient to feed 
them, and the settlers along the route listened with awe to their 
stories of iron wheels that were soon to roll in their foot tracks. 

In November they went into winter quarters at Jacksonville, 
Elliott and Belden separating on account of the delicate question of 
priority of leadership the rest of the way; the former going to San 
Francisco and the latter coming to Portland. Colonel Barry, 
however, staid by the party. At Jacksonville was added the most 
important member to the company. This was Joseph Gaston, Esq., 
now of Gaston, Washington County, and of Portland, Oregon, and 
the present editor of the Pacific Farmer. He was then editor of the 
Jacksonville Times. Gaston went to work with the enterprise and 
enthusiasm of an Achilles, and while the baker's dozen of autonomous 
surveyors were boarding themselves in the old hospital at Jacksonville, 
went about collecting means to enable them to continue the work the 
next summer. He was successful, and in May following, level, 
transit and chain were again set in motion. In September, Barry's 
party was at Portland, having made measurements and memoranda 
the whole distance from Red Bluff, California, to the public levee in 
our city, on which they were camped. The people on the way had 
been startled into life by the apparition, and the State groaning like 

266 History of Portland. 

the rest of the Union under the evils of the great war, and not yet 
well knowing whether there was still a nation, was aroused by this 
practical exhibition of faith in the future of the country and deter- 
mination to be ready for the great national development just so soon 
as the Union was once more compacted. 

Colonel Barry prepared a report of thirty-three pages, addressed 
to the ''Directors of the California and Columbia River Railway 
Company ;" not, however, designating the members of this company 
by name. His pamphlet discussed the subject of routes, and 
summarized the findings of the surveyors. As illustrating by what 
means bills were paid at this stage of the work, it may be mentioned 
that the pamphlet was published from the office of the Salem 
Statesman, and the work paid for by editorial services on the paper 
by Mr. Joseph Gaston. 

Being in reality an address to the people of Oregon, it was 
admirably framed to excite interest in a general movement toward 
opening the State by rapid transit. As to routes, Colonel Barry 
reported that there were two from Jacksonville across the Umpqua 
mountains; one by Grave Creek, a rugged and difficult region, with 
a grade of 100 feet per mile; and a second by Trail Creek, which he 
had only partially examined, but thought would prove better. 
Through the Umpqua Valley he reported an easy way between the 
multitude of hills, with grade not exceeding eighty feet. He 
preferred the Applegate Pass of the Calipooiahs to that by Pass Creek, 
and spoke with enthusiasm of the facility of construction down the 
Willamette Valley. To reach the Columbia river, he preferred a 
route to the Scappoose Mountains and through them by the Cornelius 
Pass to St. Helens, but recognized the advantage of making Portland 
the terminus. He named the passes of the Portland hills available 
as at the falls of the Willamette, by Sucker Lake and Oswego, and 
by the Cornelius Pass below the city. He also spoke of the impossi- 
bility of accommodating the whole of the Willamette Valley by one 
road. By pretty careful and just estimates, he set the total cost of con- 
structing the entire line at $30,000,000, and the net annual earnings 
of the road from Marysville to the Columbia at $5, 600, 000. The report 
was flattering, presented in a pleasing form, and had a remarkable 

Railroads. 267 

air of ease and assurance. He accorded especial praise to Mr. 
Gaston for valuable assistance and possession of scientific attainments 
and thorough knowledge of railroad enterprises. Accompanying 
this report was a description — prepared by Mr. Gaston — of the region 
traversed, and of Oregon in general. It was the first of the kind 
ever attempted — exacl and concise. 

The next step was to get the subject before the Legislative 
bodies. It was brought by Mr. Gaston in 1864 to the attenti on of 
the Oregon Legislature, and a bill was passed at that session to grant 
$250,000 to a company constructing a road from Portland to Eugene; 
but this sum w T as so comparatively small as to induce no capitalists 
to take advantage of the offer. In the same year Colonel Barry went 
to Washington City and laid the matter before the United States 
Congress. He was warmly supported by Congressman Cornelius Cole, 
and General Bidwell, of California, and by the entire Oregon dele- 
gation — Senators Williams and Nesmith, and Congressman McBride. 
A bill was prepared and pushed through the House by Bidwell ; by 
Nesmith, in the Senate. An important provision had already been 
suggested by Colonel W. W. Chapman, of Portland. When the 
surveyors first reached Eugene they called a meeting of the citizens 
to ratify their undertaking. Colonel Chapman happening to be 
present at Eugene on business, attended their meeting. When a 
resolution was brought forward to embody the sentiment of those 
present, he noticed no reference as to the place of beginning to build 
the road except at Marysville in California, and seeing at once that a 
road if thus built would draw trade towards San Francisco during its 
whole process of construction, and might not be at all completed to 
Portland, he added the provision that the road be begun at the 
two termini, Portland and Marysville; that the two roads thus 
constructed should connect near the California border; that they be 
constructed by two companies, a California and an Oregon, each 
acting under the laws of their respective States; and that neither 
should ever discriminate against the other in freights or fares. These 
provisions were embodied in the bill of Bidwell, which also provided 
a land grant to the amount of twenty alternate sections, or 12,800 
acres per mile, aggregating some 7,000,000 acres, worth about 

268 History of Portland. 

$5,000,000 at the time— now worth at least $30,000,000. Upon 
completion and equipment of the first twenty miles of road and 
telegraph line within two years, the land grant co-terminus was to 
be patented to the railroad companies; the road twenty miles further 
was to be built each year, and the whole to be completed by 1875. 
The point of value in the bill was its land grant. Opposition to the 
giving of the public domain to corporations had not yet developed, 
and the subsidy worth $5,000,000 at the least was sufficient to 
induce capitalists to lend money on a work costing not more than 
$30,000,000. Great stress was laid in arguing for the bill on the 
fact that the Pacific sea-board was open to the attacks of a foreign 
enemy, and that to make the Union and Central Pacific railways 
effective in repelling invasion there should be a rail line parallel to 
the coast to allow the speedy dispatch of troops to any point 
threatened. As our relations with Great Britian were not very 
friendly in 1866, and France and Spain were also held as invidious, 
this reasoning had weight with eastern statesmen. Bankers seeking 
investments for the bonds and notes they held of the Government were 
readily led to look into the merits of such a road as that proposed. 

The point of difficulty was to get means to build and equip the 
first twenty miles. While the matter of $15,000,000 looked 
indescribably easy as it rolled off Colonel Barry's facile pen, the 
matter of securing $40,000 in Oregon in '68 was a herculean task 
The most of the farmers thought they were doing well if they could 
produce one hundred dollars on demand. Of the financial struggle, 
however, some account will appear later. 

At the time of the passage of the bill by the United States 
Congress, in 1866, there was a company in California, already in 
existence, which was designated in the bill as the California and 
Oregon Railroad Company. But in Oregon no company had as yet 
been formed. The singular situation was therefore seen of a land 
grant of some 5,000,000 acres to a company not yet in existence. 
To meet this difficulty and to secure to Oregon the advantage of 
having the road built by a company of her own, the bill provided 
that the grantee of the land in our State should be, u Such company 
organized under the laws of Oregon as the State shall hereafter 

Railroads. 269 

designate. " By this provision our State was left to name the 
association or corporation that should proceed with the work and 
take the land. Immediate steps were taken to organize the company 
and on October 6th, 1866, Governor Woods, then the State execu- 
tive, sent a message to the Legislature notifying them that a company 
was about to be organized under the General Incorporation Act, to 
be known as the Oregon Central Railroad Company, "composed of 
some of the most responsible and energetic business men of the 
State. ' ' He suggested that through this the State avail itself of the 
liberal grant of land by the general government, and that to secure 
the construction of the first twenty miles of road the State pass a 
bill authorizing the payment of interest from the State Treasury on 
the bonds sufficient to construct the necessary preliminary section. 

With this proposed State aid for getting the first sedlion done, a 
company was provisionally incorporated with the following names: 
R. R. Thompson, S. G. Reed, J. C. Ainsworth, M. M. Melvin, 
George L,. Woods, F. A. Chenoweth, Joel Palmer, Ed. R. Geary, S. 
Ellsworth, J. H. Mitchell, H. W. Corbett, B. F. Brown and T. H. 
Cox. Joseph Gaston was appointed secretary and was authorized to 
open stock books, and solicit subscriptions. On February 20th, 
1867, he published notice of incorporation. He also explained that 
in consequence of the California parties having chartered the avail- 
able ships, no iron could be brought out for his operations that 
year, and that arrangements for an extension of time of building 
their road had been made with the Oregon delegation at Washington. 
Stock, he said, would be solicited so soon as positive assurances were 
received from Eastern capitalists of investment in the securities of 
the company, and as soon as one-half had been subscribed a meeting 
would be held to ele6l directors according to law. This notice was 
generally published in the papers, and almost universally favorably 
commented upon. 

The company was formally incorporated November 21, 1866, 
with the following names: J. S. Smith, J. H. Mitchell, E. D. Shattuck, 
Jesse Applegate, Joel Palmer, H. W. Corbett, M. M. Melvin, I. R. 
Moores, F. A. Chenoweth, George L. Woods, R. R. Thompson, J. 
C. Ainsworth, S. G. Reed, John McCraken, C. H. Lewis, B. F. 

270 History of Portland. 

Brown, T. H. Cox and J. Gaston. In order to get the benefit of the 
Land Grant of Congress, it filed its assent to the terms of the act 
before July 25, 1867, as provided, and was recognized as the rightful 
recipient of this grant, conformably to conditions, by the acting 
Secretary of the Interior, W. T. Otto. 

After getting thus far in its way, vigorous measures were taken to 
obtain subscriptions of stock. The State passed a bill to pay interest 
on $10,000 per mile of the first hundred miles of the road built, 
contingent upon the completion of twenty miles. The city of 
Portland agreed to pay interest on $250,000 bonds for twenty years 
upon conditions as to building, etc. Washington county, likewise, 
would pay interest on $50,000; Yamhill was expecting to pay on 
$75, 000. Private subscriptions aggregating above $25, 000 in money 
were received, and a much greater value was donated in the shape 
of land from farmers and others. Values to nearly half a million 
dollars were thus accumulated — not, of course, available to that 
amount on forced sale, but substantially so in permanent possession. 
The route was fixed to run from Portland to Eugene on the west side 
of the Willamette river, passing through Washington, Yamhill, Polk 
and Benton Counties. 

While the road was thus pushing along with determination there 
appeared the shadow, or double, or, as it afterwards turned out, the 
antagonist of the Oregon Central Railroad. This was the Oregon 
Central Railroad No. 2. A formidable rival of the first, it was a 
company organized under the same name and claiming to be the true 
Oregon Central Railroad, and therefore entitled to the Land Grant 
from the Government. It differed from the first in working for a 
road on the east side of the Willamette river and in the composition 
of its members. It may not be worth our while to give here all the 
particulars of the split and division in the original corporation which 
resulted in the formation of two companies. It is easy enough, 
however, to see the leading motive. There were two sides to the 
Willamette Valley, and each side desired a railway, and to have it 
must get all the State and national aid obtainable. It was a matter 
of course that the moment that the road was fixed for one side 
(Gaston having decided to locate on the side raising the largest 

Railroads. 271 

subsidy), there would be an attempt to divert it to the other. It was 
deemed idle to expect the State or Nation to grant substantial aid 
for building on both sides, and hence the quarrel began for the 
privileges. The company as originally incorporated embraced men 
on both sides of the river, but when the route was fixed for the west 
side — in truth, generally conformably to Barry's survey — members of 
the east side or those favoring it preferred to form another organization 
to be under their own control. The incorporators of this company — 
the East Side as it was popularly known — were John H. Moores, J. 
S. Smith, George L. Woods, E. N. Cooke, S. Ellsworth, I. R. Moores 
and Samuel A. Clark. It was incorporated April 22, 1867. Its 
first board of directors were George L. Woods, E. N. Cooke, J. H. 
Douthitt, I. R. Moores, T. McF. Patton, J. H. Moores, Jacob Conser, 
A. L. Iyovejoy, F. A. Chenoweth, S. Ellsworth, S. F. Chadwick, 
John F. Miller, John E. Ross, J. H. D. Henderson, A. F. Hedges, 
S. B. Parrish and Green B. Smith. J. H. Moores was president and 
S. A. Clarke, secretary. 

It may very well be supposed that the two rival companies thus 
formed, each aiming to secure a land grant worth $5,000,000 and to 
build a road which should not only bring millions of money to its 
constructors, but be a great and famous achievement and bring benefit 
to the whole State, and particularly to those portions traversed, began 
to fight each other to the death. It was war to the knife, and the 
knife to the hilt. The spirit of the combatants was most earnest and 
serious, while some of the attending circumstances were very diverting. 
Before the people, the west side road was able to stand on the 
defensive and as within the forms and requirements of law. It also 
maintained the position of financial integrity, and carefully eschewed 
and stigmatized any u wildcat " schemes. It was for the most part 
favored by Portland, which, being situated upon the west side of the 
river, rather feared the east side arrangement, as, if not actually 
building up a rival upon the opposite shore, at least withdrawing 
value from the property in the city. She was then a place of less 
than ten thousand people, and the injury of having the seat of value 
even a mile from her principal streets was thought to be considerable. 
Those living upon the original square mile looked with distrust and 


272 History of Portland. 

opposition even upon " Couch's Portland, " and spoke freely against 
the inconvenience of walking a mile to the depot — let alone a voyage 
across the river to Wheeler's farm, in the woods. Washington 
county, always warmly attached to Portland, and enjoying many 
favors from her close proximity, raged against the idea of being left 
without a road while Congressional aid was extended for a track 
through Clackamas and Marion. There was also much said about 
the inutility and the general impropriety of a dog's having two tails — 
the Willamette river being averred to be good enough for the east- 
siders, upon whose bank their road was to be built. A broader view 
was expressed by some, as the Oregonian, which, seeing that a valley 
fifty miles wide could not and never would be accommodated by one 
railway, expressed a desire that both lines be built, speaking as 
follows: "We must not be understood in any way as taking sides in 
the controversy or supposed rivalry between the east and west side 
lines. We want both roads built, and the people want them, and 
from the fact that there is as much need of the one as the other, we 
prefer to think there is or should be no rivalry between them." 
(May 26, 1868). 

Such pacific counsels had, of course, no influence in disposing of 
the real difficulty, and so long as the existence of each company 
depended upon getting the grant of land, and each company was 
using every possible form of address to fulfill the conditions, the 
dispute had to be carried to a conclusion — either one or the other 
getting the prize. 

During 1867 surveys were projected on both sides. A board of 
directors was chosen for the west side road May 24th, composed of 
Captain J. C. Ainsworth, Thomas R. Cornelius, Wm. T. Newby, J. 
B. Underwood and Joseph Gaston, of which Mr. Gaston was elected 
president and W. C. Whitson secretary. Mr. Hart was secured as 
superintendent of construction. Financial arrangements were busily 
canvassed, but there was no ground broken that year. 

The spring of 1868 was bright and fair, and April blessed with 
the usual showers. The 15th day of that month was a jubilee in 
our little " clucking-hen of a city," as someone called it about that 
time, for the first shovelful of railroad earth was to be thrown that 

Railroads. 273 

day. The scene of the first labors was at the then head of Fourth 
street, in Caruther's addition. Hither in the morning of the 15th 
repaired the board of directors of the Oregon Central Railroad (west 
side), the contractors, Messrs. Davis, Thornton & Co., and a very 
large and enthusiastic assemblage of citizens. At half past eleven 
the ceremonies began. Mr. Gaston, the president of the board, made 
a speech, embodying the history of the company and a statement of 
its franchises and finances. He outlined the general policy of the 
company to be to obtain enough in the way of subscriptions within 
the State to build the first twenty miles, and secure the government 
land, and upon this, and the completed work, to get loans of outside 
capital. He said that it was confidently believed that by the time 
subscription lists were closed in Portland — having referred to 
municipal, county and State subsidies, and to gifts of real estate by 
farmers and others — the required sum for the first twenty miles would 
be in hand. Hiram Smith, of Portland, was loudly cheered for 
being the first to pay his subscription of $1,000. 

Concluding his speech in the hope ' ' that the work now to be 
formally inaugurated shall, in its completion, be made the servant 
and promoter of years of future growth, prosperity and wealth until 
here, upon the banks of the beautiful Willamette shall arise a . city, 
holding the keys and being the gateway of, and hand-maid to, the 
commerce between the Atlantic and the Indies, shall rival Venice in 
its adornment and Constantinople in its wealth," the president of the 
company descended to the spot where shovel and barrow were in 
readiness, and amid much cheering dug the first earth. 

Colonel W. W. Chapman followed in a speech, setting forth the 
value of the road to induce immigration, and the effect it would 
have to stimulate the building of a branch of the Union Pacific to 
Portland. The financial basis he considered exceptionally good, 
footing up to about two and a quarter million dollars, while the cost 
of construction to Eugene would not exceed two millions. He spoke 
with great approval of the policy of the company to employ only 
white men — or, at least, no Chinese — as laborers, believing that the 
laboring population ought to be of a permanent character, with 
interests common to the rest of the people. Ex-Governor A. C. 

274 History of Portland. 

Gibbs continued the speech-making, alluding to the rise in the value 
of land from $2.50 an acre to $50 under railway influence; and to 
the immense export of wheat that Oregon would soon arrive at. 

With the close of this address, the shower that had been falling 
passed over, the sun beamed out warm and the crowd moved to the 
grounds and began a frolic of digging, pitching and wheeling. A 
lady, the wife of Judge David Lewis, an engineer of the road, was 
among the first to lift a shovelful, and all present were eager to be 
at least able to say that they personally had a part in breaking the 
first ground. As the afternoou waned the crowd dispersed, and the 
workmen began with regular steady stroke and heave to move the 
yellow brown loess. 

It was through a chequered career that the advancement thus 
begun continued to come on. 

The East side road was ready to break ground two days later. 
A clipping from a Portland daily paper gives the following account 
of the event: 

Thursday, April 16th, 1868, was a gala day in the history of Oregon, for it wit- 
nessed the practical inauguration of the work of the construction of a railway through 
the great Willamette Valley. The occasion was the formal breaking of the ground for 
the east side railroad, and the important event was celebrated in a befitting manner. 
The place selected for commencing work was an open field about three-quarters 
of a mile from the Stark street ferry landing, at Bast Portland, and about 500 yards 
from the east bank of the Willamette river. The spot where the sod was first dis- 
turbed was not far from where the old asylum for the insane then stood. 

In honor of the event, flags were flying from every available flag staff in Port- 
land. A procession was formed in the city and marched to the spot selected, where 
ground was to be broken. This procession was preceded by the Aurora brass band. 
The first division consisted of the Washington and Fenian Guards, the mayor and 
members of the council of Portland, the chaplain, orator of the day, the president 
and directors of the Oregon Central Railroad Company, the chief engineer and corps 
of employees. In this division was borne the shovel to be presented by Samuel M. 
Smith to the president of the road, and to be used in breaking the ground. The 
second and third divisions consisted of the fire departments of Portland and Vancou- 
ver, and citizens on horse back, in carriages and on foot. Prior to the arrival of the 
procession an immense crowd had assembled at the grounds to witness the cere- 

The assemblage, numbering not less then 5000, was called to order by Dr. A. M. 
Loryea; Rev. A. F. Waller, the chaplain, then offered prayer. The shovel mentioned 
was then formally presented to the president of the road, Col. I. R. Moores. The 
shovel bore on it a beautiful silver plate attached to the front of the handle, with the 

Imby£CWSh»ms nBro#3 

Railroads. 275 

following engraved inscription: 'Presented by Sam M. Smith to the Oregon Central 
Railroad, Portland, April 16, 1868. Ground broken with this shovel for the first 
railroad in Oregon.' The presentation speech was made at some length by John H. 
Mitchell and fittingly responded to by Col. I. R. Moores. 

At the conclusion of the address and response President Moores then descended 
from the platform with the shovel in his hand. He proceeded to the center of the 
square, where was driven the * 'first stake, ' ' and threw out the first sod in the construction 
of the Oregon Central railroad. This was accomplished amid the loud acclamations 
of the multitude. The breaking of the ground was followed by three rousing cheers 
for the road, for the directors and contractors, during which the band discoursed 
"Hail Columbia." After this, all the laborers, at a given signal, fell to the work of 
grading. The remainder of the ceremonies consisted of addresses by Judge W. W. 
Upton and Hon. J. N. Dolph. ' Short addresses were also made in conclusion by J. 
H. Reed, Joel Palmer and others: 

Work was pushed on both sides all the spring and summer, and 

by the middle of September the west side had the main grading 

along the face of the mountains finished some three miles out from 

the city. This road was very much in the nature of a work by the 

people, and to incite them to effort the President made to them 

extensive appeals through the newspapers. In his report of May 

25th 1868, officially to the Board of Directors, really to the people 

of the State, he reached a remarkably fine strain, reminding one of 

a military appeal, and well calculated to awaken enthusiasm. He 

says i ' Oregon has not yet done all that it may easily do to aid this 

great work, and especially those along the line who are most 

benefitted by the road. Every man can help some. Let every man 

do so and failure will be utterly impossible. Laborers must be fed 

and the farmers along the line can contribute flour, bacon, vegetables 

and all the necessaries of life, when they have no cash to spare; and 

this they would not feel. Teams must be supplied and supported; 

horses and their provender are everywhere abundant; let them be 

freely supplied and the work will not lag. The right of way ought 

to be cheerfully donated in every case. Cross ties can be easily 

furnished by people along the line, each furnishing a few, and taking 

their pay in stock or lands. In this way let a railroad spirit be 

aroused and stirred up to a deeper depth, and the railroad will be 

eminently the people's, and an Oregon enterprise, and will be pushed 

rapidly up the Willamette, through the Calapooiahs on to Rogue River 

and spreading its iron arms out on either side, will infuse new life into 

276 History of Portland. 

the whole country; make your wheat of uniform current value from 
Jacksonville to Portland, take out every brush, reconstruct every 
farm, quadruple its value, erect comfortable houses everywhere, give 
the farmer the full value of his labor and produce at his own door, 
create new towns and cities, and finally supply and serve the wants 
of a million of people, prosperous and happy in the enjoyment of one 
of the most favored spots and climes beneath the sun. ' ' 

The east side road being of a less popular character, and looking 
more to acquisition of capital, and use of modern railroad methods, 
was already seeking for an alliance with some capitalist ready to run 
their road through. They seemed to have had a wholesome distrust 
of popular enthusiasm in matters financial, and to count but little 
upon supplies or money raised in tidbits, and dependent for its 
cheerful delivery upon a large variety of people, many of whom were 
likely to be miffed or chilled by reason of the most trival or personal 
circumstances. They knew that promises to the people in order to 
be at all impressive or productive of results, must be highly colored 
or even extravagant; and such promises, before fulfilled must 
inevitably seem to many exaggerated and perhaps spurious, and even 
in the fulfillment would to many of sanguinary temperament seem to 
fall far short of their intent. They preferred to rely upon a railroad 
king, who, even if he ate up some of his subjects, would at least see 
that he got back interest upon his investments by carrying his work 
through to completion and would have his financial stakes well set, 
and thereby assure a road. With the generous and frank methods 
of the west side road it is impossible not to sympathize, at the same 
time doubting the efficiency of their plan to interest the people in 
their work enough to be anything like a reliable aid. The more 
calculating, less open, and extraordinary measures of the east side 
company commend themselves much less to our approbation, but 
nevertheless took account of some things not provided for in the 
other. It may seem a useless thing to revive the story of old 
struggles, especially as both sides got their road and things are now 
serene. But there are certain obligations on the historian to explain 
how things have come to be as they are, and hence we give the 
thread of the story. It is no part of our work to award praise or 

Railroads. 277 

blame. Errors are always to be set down as evil, and unscrupu- 
lousness is to be reprobated wherever or by whomsoever practiced. 
In this case, however, the reader is to sit as judge. Both companies 
wanted a road, and took the shortest cut to get it. 

S. G. Elliott, the original engineer, came up and took charge of 
the working measures and forces of the east side. He was under- 
stood to represent a large amount of capital, and through him and 
others, Mr. N. P. Perine and Mr. James P. Flint of San Francisco, 
arrangements were made with a certain U A. J. Cook & Co. n to 
construct one hundred and fifty miles of the road. Said Cook was 
declared to be immensely rich and fully able to carry the work 
through. In a circular issued by the company it was stated that the 
capital stock was $7,250,000, which was the represented cost of 
construction. The actual cost of the road would, however, be but 
$5,250,000 — at $35,000 per mile. This latter was to be known as 
common stock, and was to be sold at ten cents on the dollar, bringing 
in something over $3,000, to be applied upon every mile. The other 
ninety per cent, was to be raised by a mortgage. Anyone buying a 
share was to pay $10 and receive a share marked $100, but designated 
as unassessable and not to be subject to any further demands for 
payment. It was charged by the other party that the $2,000,000 of 
unassessable preferred stock — the difference between the $7,250,000, 
or the represented cost, and the $5,250,000, or the actual cost — was 
for gratuitous distribution among the directors of the company and 
to buy the favor of prominent men in the State. In a manner as a 
confirmation of this charge, the statement of Col. J. W. Nesmith, 
that he had been offered, but refused, $50,000 stock to become a 
director of the east side road and to deliver the speech at the breaking 
of ground, was widely circuluted. A letter from James P. Flint, 
from San Francisco, to N. P. Perine, with reference to his mission 
to Oregon, advising the liberal use of stock, common rather than 
preferred, to secure the good will and co-operation of influential men, 
was afterwards made public. It was further said that of the whole 
stock but $700 had been subscribed by actual signature of responsible 
men; that the rest had been subscribed by the company to itself, and 
the incorporators had expressly disavowed any further liability than 

278 History of Portland. 

of the seven original shares. The organization of the company, by 
which they had elected their president and directors, was said to be 
contrary to the State statute, which provided that half of the capital 
stock must be subscribed before the officers were elected. 

A spirited public contest began almost from the first between the 
two companies, each making copious use of the newspaper press, and 
warning the people of the other. The president of the west side 
road issued circulars not only in our State, but throughout the East, 
declaring that the Oregon Central Railroad, whose principal office 
was at Portland, was the only true Oregon Central Railroad; that the 
other, doing business from Salem, was a sham and fraud; that they 
had no legitimate existence, no substantial bottom, no claim to 
public lands or franchises of any kind. He asserted that A. J. Cook 
& Co. was a myth; that their methods were fraudulent, their repre- 
sentations false, and their bonds worthless, except as made good by 
subscriptions of innocent and unsuspicious parties who took the ten 
per cent, unassessable stock, and might be compelled to pay one 
hundred per cent, to redeem their promises according to statute. His 
statements were curt and positive and in the East broke up a loan 
that Elliott was contracting. 

The east side replied by denouncing him as one whose irregular 
methods had disintegrated the first company and made necessary the 
formation of a new. They said that he had been originally invested 
with power by them to form and incorporate a company, but he 
abused his trust by enlarging the number of incorporators without 
their knowledge, and making a secret agreement with a certain 
portion, principally those additionally obtained by him, to divide 
among themselves the profits of the road, to the injury of the others; 
and, worst of all, that he failed to file with the Secretary of State and 
the clerk of Multnomah county the records of incorporation in time 
for the State legislature to legally designate the company as the one 
entitled to the donation of government land, as provided by the 
United States congressional bill. They also said that in this last 
particular he had deceived the other incorporators and the State 
legislature, having affirmed that he had filed the articles. 

Railroads. 279 

To these personal charges Mr. Gaston at first gave little attention, 
preferring to continue his warnings against the rival company and 
his analysis of their financial standing; but when it became neces- 
sary to explain the matter before Congress, he was able to show by 
the affidavit of the clerk of Multnomah county and by statement of 
the Secretary of State that he had actually presented for filing the 
articles of incorporation on October 6th, 1866, and such was recog- 
nized in pencil on the articles; but upon his desire to retain them for 
a time to get additional names attached to them, he was permitted 
to do so, and they had eventually been filed formally on a date more 
than a month later and after the legislature had adjourned. The 
assertion that he had delayed filing the articles for the sake of work- 
ing up a secret scheme hostile to the interests of the company, 
was thereby shown to have been at least misapprehended. 

On the part of those who left the first company and organized a 
second, it may be very fairly said that looking as they did in the 
office of the Secretary of State for the articles in order to be sure 
that they were there, and finding no account of them— the Secretary 
having forgotten the circumstances of their withdrawal after their 
presentation — they might well have felt solicitous and looked with 
suspicion upon agreements that they had heard were going on with- 
out their knowledge in Portland. Thus the whole disruption and 
contest arose in a measure from a clerical error and a misunderstand- 
ing. This at least, gave a certain edge and bitterness to the 
controversy that would have been absent from a mere question of 
rivalry or pecuniary interests; for gentlemen of each party felt that 
their personal integrity was assailed. 

The sharp and wordy battle in public print was speedily carried to 
the court room. After making public statements of the fraudulent 
character of their rivals, complaint was made on the part of the 
West side road and suit was brought in the Circuit Court for Multnomah 
county, through the prosecuting attorney of the Fourth Judicial 
District, to dissolve the East side company, and forbid their using the 
name Oregon Central Railroad on the ground that their organization 
had not been made in accordance with Statute — only $700 of the 
$7,250,000 having been subscribed when the Board of Directors was 

280 History of Portland. 

first chosen; and that it was a public fraud and statutory illegality to 
put unassessable stock on the market. Suit was begun also in the 
Circuit Court for Marion county, May 1st, 1868, on the same ground 
to the same purpose. 

In the United States District Court at Portland suit was brought 
by James B. Newby, of California, to dissolve the East side company 
and forbid the use of their name O. C. R. R. Co., on the ground that 
his stock in the West side road was depreciated in value by the 
fraudulent use of the corporate name of the company whose stock he 
held. Another case was brought up from Clackamas county, relative 
to right of way, in which the same assertions were made as to the 
invalidity of the East side organization. 

On the other hand, in April, 1868, the East side company 
brought suit through the prosecuting attorney of the Fourth Judicial 
District to dissolve the West side company on the ground of a secret 
fraudulent agreement between certain of its incorporators, and of 
many other irregularities; but withdrew it before a decision was 

These cases worked their way very slowly across demurrers and 
other legal obstructions from court to court, producing little but 
expensive litigation, retarding the sale of lands, wasting force and 
means, and impairing public confidence. A decision dampening the 
West side company was reached in the United States Distri6l Court 
about this time, that the City of Portland was barred by the clause 
in its charter limiting the indebtedness of the city to $50,000, from 
paying the interest on $250,000 for twenty years on the West side 
bonds, since this created a debt of more than $300,000. It does not 
appear that this suit, which was brought in the name of a citizen of 
California who owned taxable property in Portland, was instigated 
by the East side company, yet it may be imagined that it was; and 
at all events, it had the effect of a great victory for them, and a great 
defeat for the West side, since it knocked a quarter of a million 
dollars security upon which they were greatly relying, from under 
their feet. 

In the meantime work of grading from East Portland to Pudding 
River was energetically prosecuted, the heavy grading, and certain 

Railroads. 281 

spots denied right of way being ommitted for the time. The rep- 
resentations of Elliott as to a contract with A. J. Cook and Company, 
were found to be no longer serviceable. Dr. A. M. Loryea, of East 
Portland, a bluff, gnarled oak sort of a man, naturally opposite to 
fine work, then Vice President of the company on his side the river, 
was allowed to go east on a fruitless search for the contractors, 
finding them neither east nor west, and in no way a connection of 
Jay Cook & Co. , as they had become to be considered by the public. 
The blind had, however, allowed time for the completion of arrange- 
ments with Ben Holladay, of California, (if not at first prepared by 
him in order to keep the name and machinery of the east side 
company in the hands of Oregonians until the land grant should be 
declared theirs, or to keep up so hot a fight against the West Side as 
to kill it, or to compel it to sell its franchises at a nominal price to its 
rivals); and in 1868, Holladay's money began to flow into the 
exchequer and to energize the work of construction. 

As Holladay came here as a railroad king, and for about ten years 
carried all public matters with a high hand, becoming autocrat of all 
lines of transportation and well nigh political dictator and trans- 
forming the visage of the country not only, but inaugurating a new 
system of politics and of public proceeding generally, it will be in 
place here to indicate something of his aims, methods, and previous 
history. He was one of the marked men of the age, of keen fore- 
sight, and an ambition and self-confidence that hesitated not to 
seize every opportunity of self-promotion. He belonged to the 
second order of potentates who have sprung up in America. Our 
system of government holds public servants to sojrigid an account, 
and the public press so scrutinizes their actions, that it is not the 
office holder who wields the power. He is hampered by constitu- 
tional restrictions, and public espionage, and by party pledges so that 
his work even in the legislative hall or the executive chair, becomes 
little more than perfunctory, or that of a factor. But behind his 
sphere, clothed with unlimited power, which laws have been unable 
to specify or courts to define, is the money king. It is popularly 
believed that his power is actually unlimited, except by his own 
mistakes, by the opposition of rivals, or by the integrity of influential 

282 History of Portland. 

men who will not be bought. But these restrictions upon his 
autocracy — like that of assassination as to the limit of the Czar's 
absolutism — he of course refuses to recognize. 

At the close of the war great opportunities were offered by the 
financial situation for immense speculations. That great conflict, in 
which men were organized and massed by the hundreds of thousands, 
and money was moved by the millions, had taught the country how 
to operate on a large scale. A spirit of daring and recklessness was 
also fostered. Those accustomed to risk their lives, or to see platoons 
of men hurled to death before long rows of cannons and bayonets, 
felt no hesitancy in risking so tame a thing as money, by the million 
dollars. A new confidence in the nation sprung up, and, as a sort of 
reaction from the moral strain, an intense eagerness for material 
advancement took possession. Money, as a power to control human 
action, was valued as never before, and, as is usual with new 
endeavors, was invested with a potency far beyond its real limit. 
Men of ambition, instead of following in the steps of Clay or Webster, 
and aiming to mould events by argument and eloquence, figured 
themselves as at the fountain head of the stream of gold, and by its 
flowing creating and transforming. It was towards railroading that 
the most brilliant conceptions were turned, and the West was to be 
the theatre of the vastest schemes. A patriotic and humanitarian 
feeling was mingled with these ambitious ideas, since the loyal part 
of the nation saw the advantage of bringing out of the wilderness 
States loyal to the government which had just emerged from an 
almost fatal struggle with secession, and setting the nation upon a 
granite foundation. Furthermore, the idea of renovating and popu- 
lating the earth, as in old migrations, but by new improved methods 
of civilization, became once more fascinating to men of reflection. 

Holladay was a Kentuckian by birth, had grown up in the West, 
had learned every foot of country between St. L,ouis and San Fran- 
cisco upon his pony express, had breathed the California spirit of gold 
and adventure, and imbibed the western idea of the immensity of the 
future of the Pacific shores. Not exactly a disciple of Bishop 
Berkeley, he had, nevertheless, a practical notion that the star of 
empire was about nearing its zenith over the Golden Gate, and was 

Railroads. 283 

as quick as anyone to see the opportunities for dominion as the 
national government was once more restored. He had had practical 
opportunity to see the workings of a railroad era in the Central and 
Union Pacific, and as by these roads his mail contracts were 
suspended, he very naturally turned elsewhere for a field. He had 
kept careful watch of the great line that had been projected into 
Oregon, and, keeping fully up with the operations of the companies 
managing it, he bided his time to seize their work when the best 
chance came. As an American, he was not devoid of ideality. He 
had in mind the development of a new empire. The pyrotechnic 
editorial flashes in all the papers about the seat of population being 
soon transferred to the strip of country between the Rockies and the 
Pacific were more or less present to his mind. He thought out some 
scheme of colonization. He was, nevertheless, a man whose selfishness 
dominated all else, and his practical incentive was to use the power 
of wealth to control a State, and perhaps a much larger area, in his 
own name. He showed no love for Oregon, or for the people of 
Oregon, but no other field was so inviting, or so well within his 

From his subsequent actions, it may well be doubted whether his 
purposes were absolutely clear to himself, or that he followed them 
unswervingly. If his aim was simply to build a railroad, he might 
have done it with less trouble and expense, and for far greater 
returns. If his idea was to make himself the autocrat of the State, 
to own legislatures and United States senators, and perhaps to extend 
his operations over adjoining Territories and control transcontinental 
lines, he never followed it with consistency. Upon rigid examination 
we apprehend that he would be found a man of strong intentions, 
but of unstable will, of deep schemes, but of feeble convictions, of 
large aims, but incapable of sustained endeavor or sacrifice, and 
subject to passion and prejudice. It may also be said that, although 
in the strength of manhood when he came to our State, an excessive 
luxury of life and diet broke his vigor long before he reached old age. 

As a working scheme of morality, he let nothing stand in way of 
his aims, recognizing no right except the shortest way to his object. 
He had one, and but one, means of attaining his end and that was 

284 History of Portland. 

the use of his money. To buy an attorney, a judge, a city, a 
legislature, public opinion, was all one to him. He made no appeals 
to the people, neither addressing them on the side of self interest or 
generosity. Upon occasion he published a message something after 
the style of a manifesto or edict. The public new nothing of him 
except that he was a nabob living in unapproachable magnificence, 
and was at the head of all that was going. He paid his agents and 
let them work their way, allowing them to use profanity or religion 
to reach the object that he named. This was the man that appeared 
in his true form above the stormy rail road horizon of Oregon in 
1868. J. H. Mitchell, one of the first incorporators of the original 
Oregon Central Railroad Company, but also an incorporator of the 
second, or East Side Co. , and their attorney, rendered very efficient 
service to Mr. Holladay. 

Two general objects were now before this company; one to keep 
suits in court as long as possible in order to prevent decision upon 
the mooted points — since while the cases were in court the two 
companies seemed to, and did, stand upon the same legal ground, 
and neither one nor the other |had the right to assume that it was 
the true and only company; and, in the meantime, to get an act 
through the Oregon Legislature, designating their company as the 
one to receive the grant of the United States land. They also 
expected to push legislation through Congress. 

Upon the assembling of the Legislature at Salem in 1868, a bill 
was brought to thus designate this company and invest it with 
authority to receive the land. This was an audacious move, since in 
the session of 1866, two years before, the old Oregon Central railroad 
had been designated, and the company of which Joseph Gaston was 
president had been duly recognized, and had received from the acting 
Secretary of the Interior a certificate that its assent to the conditions 
of the land grant had been officially filed; while the assent of the 
East Side company — which was now seeking the bill — sent on later 
was returned without filing for the double reason that the time had 
expired, and that the other company had fulfilled the condition. 
But the bill was, nevertheless, introduced, and upon the minority 
report that there was no Oregon Central Railroad Company of any 

Railroads. 285 

kind in existence on October 10, 1866, when the designating bill 
was passed by the Oregon Legislature, and that such bill was, 
therefore, mistaken and illegal, and the Secretary of the Interior at 
Washington City had been misinformed; and also that the West Side 
road had no more than $40,000 capital, and that $2,500,000 stock 
was held by the president of the company alone. - The measure was 
passed. This was done in opposition to the majority report that in 
their opinion the previous Legislature had designated a company, 
had declared it to be in existence, and that its articles had been 
provisionally filed on October 6th, four days before the original 
designating bill was passed. To parry the force of this last statement 
it was contended in the minority report that the company whose 
articles had been filed October 6th, in pencil, did not appear to be 
the same as that of November 21st following — which was the genuine 
West Side Company — since the names of incorporators were changed 
or appeared with certain additions. 

Soon after this J. H. Mitchell went with these resolutions of 
1868, favoring the east side company, to Washington City to secure 
favorable legislation from the United States Congress, taking the 
dispute to a national arena. He brought to notice of our senators, 
Corbett and Williams, the state of affairs, and the latter, learning the 
understanding of the matter by the secretary of the interior, O. H. 
Browning, to be that there had not been, as yet, a legal company to 
receive the grant of land — the west side company having failed to 
incorporate in time, and the east side company having failed to file 
assent in time — and that therefore without an act to revive the grant 
the land must lapse, or had lapsed to the government; introduced a 
bill to allow a year's time from date of passage for any company to 
file assent. This was opposed by the west side company, who were 
present at Washington by their president, and by S. G. Reed, as agent, 
on the ground that it virtually took the decision out of the courts, 
where it was still pending, and by putting the two companies on the 
same footing gave the east side a legal hold which it then did not 
and could not have — since under the former act it was impossible for 
it to file its assent in accordance with the provision, the time having 
long since passed by. The west side also complained that, as they 

286 History of Portland. 

had taken all the first steps to comply with the conditions of the a<5t, 
forming a company, spending money, and securing an extension of 
time of building, while the east side was for months doing nothing, 
and never got around to file an assent in time to hold the grant, they 
ought not to be put back on a par with a dilatory corporation, which 
since its formation had been maliciously opposing, hindering and 
trying to extinguish the only company that had had the address and 
expedition to save the grant to the State. In Senator Corbett they 
had a spokesman — Senator Williams also disavowing any hostility 
to them, and being anxious only to save the land — and the general 
spirit of the Senate was in their favor; Conkling, Hendricks and 
Howard speaking pointedly that the equities of the case seemed to be 
with the west side company, and regarding the proposed bill as 
prejudicial to them. It was consequently re-committed; but at the 
next session was brought up, and after some adverse discussion by 
Corbett was passed. With this legislation the east side company 
virtually gained its point. Under the bill it became inevitable that 
the company which was able to complete the first twenty miles of the 
road within the time specified — by December 25th, 1869 — would 
secure the land, which was the true prize and object of controversy. 
Both companies pushed forward with work of construction, but both 
met with delays. S. G. Elliott, on the east side, was found to be 
either incompetent, or, as asserted by his company, wilfully dilatory. 
On the west side the contractors, S. G. Reed & Co., wha had been the 
main stay, became disaffe6led, and in April . threw up their contradl, 
leaving the road hopelessly in the lurch; and, as asserted by west 
side men, furnishing the necessary locomotives and iron for the 
completion of the rival road. Gaston applied what money was left, and 
carried the grading to Hillsboro. Elliott was superseded by Kidder, 
under order of Holladay, and by forced work the twenty miles from 
East Portland to Parrott Creek was completed December 24th, 1869, 
just in time. This consummation was appropriately celebrated. 

Seeing the impossibility of his company finishing their twenty 
miles within the time, Mr. Gaston applied all available money, 
carrying the grading to Hillsboro, and went to Washington in 
January of 1870, to secure if possible a separate grant of land for 

Big. fa £/: Wuii ms /jfimtfT 


Railroads. 287 

his company. In this he was successful, the grant being on the line 
from Portland to Astoria, and also to McMinnville. In the same 
year the old controversy as to which of the two was the rightful 
owner of the name O. C. Railroad Company, was decided in favor of 
the West Side, Judge Deady holding that this was the rightful cor- 
poration, and the other be estopped from using its designation. The 
East Side company having gained its government land cared no 
further for the name, and in March formally dissolved the Ore- 
gon Central Co., of Salem, transferring all their franchises and 
interests to the Oregon and Californian Railroad Company organized 
but a short time before, of which Holladay became president. By this 
act the West Side was left to the undisputed use of the name, but 
this was now a barren possession. Under his new land grant Gaston 
made arrangements with a Philadelphia Company to build the road, 
but owing to the dissatisfaction of Portland capitalists upon whom 
he hitherto relied, he decided to sell his road — the board of directors 
concurring — to Holladay. This was done in the summer of 1870. 
The Californian thereby became the master of the entire railroad 
situation in Oregon. Upon the subscription of $100,000.00 by the 
people of Portland, he began building the road, and in 1872 finished 
forty-eight miles to the Yamhill River at St. Joe. 

It is instructive to notice that when the East Side road had 
gained its end, and found it necessary to dispose of S. G. Elliott, its 
attorney declared its early acts as to the issuance of unassessable 
stock illegal; and "A. J. Cook & Co. n was then admitted, or 
asserted to be a myth, or at least but some obscure individual whose 
name was irresponsibly and fraudulently used by Elliott — thus 
confirming the charges of their old enemy and rival. 

It was a memorable conflict, that conducted by the first rival 
railroad companies of Oregon; with matter in it for a novelist. It 
would be rash to intimate that Elliott with all his mythical capitalists 
was an agent of Holladay all the time, the general opinion being that 
he was at first acting only for himself, or that the East Side Company 
knew the extent of his romances, which they used so well to their 
advantage. It would on the other hand be difficult to believe that 
Holladay, or the original East Side Company, were actually imposed 


288 History of Portland. 

upon by representations as to a firm like A. J. Cook & Co. , of immense 
wealth and standing, when any business or banking gazetteer would 
inform them as to the existence or non existence of such a firm; 
particularly as Mr. Gaston was constantly asserting in public that 
this company was all a pretence. To sum up the results, the West 
Side Company was able to prove its statements as to the irregularities 
of its opponent, and to come off with the original name; also. to get 
a land grant of their own, and to make fair terms for the building of 
the road. The East Side Company, beginning almost without legal 
or legislative footing, killed the opposition of their rivals in court by 
so prolonging the cases as to make them of no practical injury, but 
rather as sort of a shield to themselves; and gained State and 
Congressional Legislation that gave them standing and secured for 
them the original land grant. Both, however, were swallowed up by 
the money king. 

At this distance of time, it will be impossible for the great mass 
of the people of Oregon, coming to the State at a later day, in any 
wise to comprehend the character and extent of the struggle, the 
almost insuperable difficulties to overcome, in starting these two 
^pioneer railroads. It is easier for Portland to raise $1,000,000 
now for a railroad; than it was $10,000 in 1868. 

After completing his road to Roseburg and St. Joe at a cost of about 
$5,000, 000, and incurring a debt in Germany of about twice that sum, 
Holladay found himself unable to pay interest on his bonds. The 
country was new, the people were unused to travel by rail. Earnings 
scarcely met expences, and a remark made long before by a Salem 
gentleman that the railroad would on its first trip carry all the 
passengers, on its second all the freight of the Willamette Valley, 
and, on the third would have to pull up the track behind it, seemed 
not so immeasurably far from realization. Some of the interest as 
due was met by draughts upon the capital itself. Then the avails of 
the steamship lines to San Francisco were turned in, but even then 
there was a deficit. The road was therefore claimed by the bond- 
holders and the rights of Holladay were won. 

Efforts for a road to the Atlantic States began with Oregon as 
well as in the East. In our State there were two who had their own 

Railroads. 289 

plans and routes in view, and there happened to be two Surveyor- 
Generals of the State, W. W. Chapman, who served under 
appointment of Buchanan, and B. J. Pengra, who served under 
Lincoln. Chapman was a Portlander, one of the fathers of the 
place, and although a man of wide sympathies, naturally desired the 
transcontinental line to terminate at his city. He had passed a life 
of almost constant political activity in and about legislative halls, 
having been the first delegate of Iowa to Congress, and from his 
knowledge of parliamentary tactics was most admirably adapted to 
lay the foundation of a road. He, of course, only aimed to 
determine the lines, to secure necessary legislation promised and then 
interest capitalists. Without large means, he nevertheless applied 
from his private means enough to make a provisional running of the 
road, and to send an agent to London to investigate financial condi- 
tions. The route of his line he laid by The Dalles, up the Columbia 
and Snake Rivers, and to connect with the Union Pacific at Salt 
Lake. About 1869 and '70 was the period of his activity, although 
for a long time before this he had cherished the plan, and was 
making preparation. Before Congress he was indefatigable in bringing 
the claim of his road to notice, but met with very hostile influences. 
One of them was that of the Northern Pacific, which saw no occasion 
for a road to the Pacific Northwest other than their own. The contest 
in Congress narrowed down to a fight between him and them. In this 
emergency he was left without assistance by even the delegates from 
his own State, but proved amply able to at least prevent the passage 
of a bill that would have left Portland without a road. This was 
the means authorizing the Northern Pacific to construct their road 
via the Valley of the Columbia to Puget Sound, the conditions of 
which would have been fulfilled by laying the rails on the north side 
of the river, as was shown to have been preferred by their map filed 
with the Secretary. By his timely protest the bill was defeated, and 
although unable to go forward with his own plan the way was left 
open for the O. R. & N. Co. , without hindrance from the Northern 
Pacific, or any other party. The road, earnestly advocated and 
agitated by Mr. Pengra, was what was known as the Winnemucca 
line. It was to extend from some point on the Central Pacific in . 

290 • History of Portland. 

Nevada, preferably Winnemucca, to Oregon, and down the Cascade 
Mountains, by the passes of the Willamette, coming to Eugene City, 
and thence via the West Side road to Portland, and also to Astoria. 
From this point on the Central Pacific it was no farther to Portland 
than to San Francisco, and the people of Nevada was very much in 
favor of the plan, being fully seconded by their Congressman Fitch. 
The road was defeated, however, by an amendment made in the 
Senate that instead of coming to Eugene it unite with the Oregon 
& California in the Rogue River Valley. By this change it was 
effectually killed, as no company cared to build a road which must 
be working to Holladay' s line, as this would be. 


In July, 1874, Mr. Henry Villard made his first visit to Oregon. 
He was vested with full powers as agent for and to represent the 
German bondholders. His purpose in coming was to make a careful 
investigation of the general condition of the roads then built and 
equipped, and to inquire thoroughly into the financial affairs of the 
Oregon & California Railroad Company. Prior to this Mr. Richard 
Koehler arrived in Portland as a resident financial agent for the 
German bondholders. Mr. Koehler reached Portland July 25, 1874. 
He was installed as agent for the syndicate, the members of which 
obtained, by previous agreement with Holladay, a supervisory right 
over the management of the road in reference to operation and 
construction] matters and a representative in the board of directors. 
Holladay still remained in nominal control of the roads as president; 
the active and actual management, however, was retained by Villard 
under the powers and privileges conferred by the bondholders. This 
condition of affairs continued until April 18, 1876, when Holladay 
retired altogether from the management of the road. On the 
following day, April 19, Mr. Villard assumed full control. On the 
retirement of Holladay the following were the officers of the company: 
President, H. Villard; vice-president and treasurer, R. Koehler; 
secretary, A. G. Cunningham. At that time the bondholders bought 
out Holladay' s interest and became the owners of all the stock. At 
the regular elections following for several years there were no 

Railroads. 291 

changes in the officers until April, 1882, at which time A. G. 
Cunningham retired as secretary and George H. Andrews was 
elected in his place. Since that date Mr. Andrews has held that 
position, and, like his predecessor, has proved a most active and 
efficient officer. 


During the time Villard represented the German bondholders, 
206 miles of the additional road were constructed. This embraced 
the distance between Roseburg and Ashland (145 miles); the west 
side road from St. Joe to Corvallis (50 miles); and the short branch line 
from Albany to Lebanon (11. 5 miles). In May, 1881 a reorganization 
of the affairs of the company was effected by which the original, or 
Ben Holladay stock, was wiped out, and the old bonds were 
converted into stocks, and a new mortgage made to provide funds 
for the extension of the lines. Work on the extension of the road 
beyond Roseburg was commenced in December, 1881, under the 
management of Villard, and operations continued with but little 
interruption until the completion of the road. On the 25th of May, 
1883, the road then constructed between Portland and Roseburg 
was leased to the Oregon & Transcontinental Company for a term of 
99 years ; and, on the same date, a contract was entered into between 
the Oregon & Transcontinental Co. and the Oregon & California 
Railroad Company for the construction of the incompleted portion — 
through to the California Line, The Oregon & Transcontinental 
Company constructed the road between Roseburg and a point 100 
miles south of Ashland, and had let contracts for, and partially com- 
. pleted the Siskiyou tunnels. The Oregon & Transcontinental 
Company after consummating the lease, continued to operate the road 
until June, 20th 1884. But upon the failure of Mr. Villard, the lease 
and construction contracts were canceled, and the road surrendered to 
the Oregon & California Railroad Company, and mutual releases 
between the two companies executed. After this, the Oregon & 
California Railroad Company continued to operate its roads until 
December, 1884, when, at the suit of Lawrence Harrison, brought 
against the corporation, Mr. R. Koehler, the former vice-president 

292 History of Portland. 

and manager of the company, was appointed receiver. The road 
has been operated by him ever since his appointment to the receiver- 
ship, which was made January 19th, 1885. The condition under 
which Mr. Koehler was appointed was to assume entire personal 
charge of the property, and to manage and operate the roads under 
the direction of the United States Court. This trust Mr. Koehler 
has faithfully and efficiently discharged, and the affairs of the road 
have been managed with due regard to every consideration of 
economy, compatible with the demands of the public, and the 
adequate facilities for general transportation. 

May 5th, 1884, the road was completed to Ashland, 145 miles 
south. of Roseburg, and 340.8 miles from Portland, and the event 
was the occasion for an enthusiastic celebration and of general public 
congratulations. Work beyond Ashland was discontinued in 
August, 1884. Between Roseburg and Grant's Pass the natural 
difficulties of construction were great as compared with most of the 
distance previously traversed. These obstacles rendered progress 
necessarily slow, and the building very expensive. For the distance 
mentioned, the route lay through a mountainous region, necessitating 
sharp curvatures, and for a length of about thirty-five miles (between 
Glendale and Grant's Pass) grades as heavy as 116 feet to the mile 
had to be overcome. For the remainder of the line between Rose- 
burg and Grant's Pass, and also between Grant's Pass and Ashland, 
the maximum grades do not exceed 52 feet to the mile. Nine 
tunnels had to be cut in constructing that portion of the line, 
aggregating about 7,325 feet. 


The present condition of the road is said to be excellent which 
speaks well for the general efficiency of the management. Notwith- 
standing the period of financial embarassments through which the 
road has passed, its condition has been gradually improved. New 
bridges have been built wherever and whenever the safety of the 
public required; the bed improved, new ties laid, and the road 
thoroughly ballasted. On the main line between this city and 
Ashland, only about 100 miles of iron rails remain, steel rails of the 

Railroads. 293 

most improved and durable kind having been substituted. New steel 
rails will be laid for the 100 miles just as 'rapidly as the material can 
be procured. Already during the past season about 85 miles of road 
have been ballasted. At present the rolling stock of the company 
consists of the following property: 43 locomotives, 26 passenger 
coaches, 14 mail and express cars, 582 box, flat and stock cars. 

Early during the present year a meeting was held in London, the 
result of which was the transfer of the stock and control of the 
corporation of the Oregon and California Railroad to the Southern 
Pacific Company. At that meeting an arrangement was entered 
into between the first mortgage bondholders of the Oregon and 
California railroad company, the stockholders of the same corpora- 
tion, duly authorized representatives of the Pacific Improvement 
company, and also of the Southern Pacific company. Under this 
agreement the stockholders of the Oregon and California company 
sold out to the Pacific Improvement company of California. Very 
briefly stated, the conditions of the sale were as follows: The Oregon 
and California railroad company's stockholders were to receive for 
every two shares of preferred stock delivered, one share of C . P. 
stock, and for every four shares of common stock surrendered and 
delivered, one share of Central Pacific stock; also, a cash payment 
of four shillings, sterling, for every share of preferred stock, and 
three shillings for every share of common stock. The first mort- 
gage bonds of the Oregon and California were to be exchanged for 
new five per cent, bonds guaranteed by the Central Pacific at the rate 
of 110 per cent, of new bonds. They were also to pay four pounds 
sterling for each $1,000 of the old bonds so exchanged. According 
to the agreement entered into, the amount of the new bonds to be 
issued and $30,000 per mile of standard guage railroad constructed 
or acquired, and $10,000 per mile of narrow guage railroad con- 
structed or acquired. Under this mortgage there is not to be issued 
more than $20,000,000 of bonds in all. Under and in pursuance 
of this agreement, the stock and bonds were exchanged so that the 
corporate organization of the Oregon and California railroad com- 
pany was transferred to the management. This formal transfer took 
place during June, 1887. While the possession and ownership of 

294 History of Portland. 

the stock and bonds of the old organization has passed into the hands 
of the Southern Pacific, still the custody of the property belonging 
to the former — rolling stock, road, depot, depot grounds, etc. — 
remains iu the hands of Mr. Koehler, the receiver, and the United 
States Circuit Court. Conjointly, the receiver and the court manage 
all the operations of the road the same as before the formal transfer was 
effected. This condition of affairs will continue until some definite 
a6lion has been determined upon by the several parties to the agree- 
ment. The above is the present status of the Oregon and California 
Railroad, but what new phase affairs will assume depends upon the 
future a6tion of the corporation into whose hands the control of the 
old organization has passed. For that reason, for the present the 
result remains entirely in conjecture. As yet there has been no 
actual transfer of the corporation's property. Since the transfer the 
annual election of the Oregon and California railroad company has 
been held, when the following officers were chosen: Leland Stanford, 
president; C. P. Huntington, vice-president; R. Koehler, second 
vice-president; George H. Andrews, secretary and treasurer; J. E. 
Gates, assistant secretary. 

There have been but very few important changes among those 
officials who have had to personally superintend the actual and 
practical operations of the road during the past twelve or fourteen 
years. Mr. E. P. Rogers enjoys the distinction of being the 
u Pioneer of the road. n Most of those prominently connected with 
the early organization of the road are dead. Among those may be 
mentioned J. H. Moores, I. R. Moores, E. N. Cooke, Joel Palmer, J. 
S. Smith, S. Ellsworth, James Douthitt, J. H. D. Henderson, 
Greenberry Smith, A. L,. Lovejoy, A. F. Hedges, W. S. Newby, J. 
P, Underwood, Gov. Gibbs, and last, but by no means least, Ben 
Holladay. To Mr. Rogers belongs the distinction of being the 
eldest officer now connected with the operating department of the 
road. He first came to Portland in 1870, and assumed the position 
of general freight and passenger agent, and the exacting duties of 
that position he has for the past seventeen years discharged with 
strict fidelity to the best interests of the corporation, and to the 
satisfaction of the general management. 

Railroads. 295 

Mr. John Brandt is also an old and efficient officer of the company. 
Mr. Brandt came to Portland in 1873, and in July of that year 
assumed the position of general superintendent of the road. This 
position he has filled proficiently for the past fourteen years. The 
fact that Mr. Brandt has been retained as superintendent. through all 
the changing fortunes of the road, and under the different manage- 
ments, is the highest evidence of his competency and thorough 
experience in the practical operations of a railroad. 

One year later Mr. R. Koehler came to Oregon. As before stated, 
he came first as resident financial agent of the German bondholders. 
He entered upon the active duties of the position July 25, 1874. 
Since that date Mr. Koehler has been an active and prominent factor 
in the management of the company's affairs — as financial agent, vice 
president and manager, and as general receiver. His long retention 
by the owners of the road, and the implicit trust reposed in his 
ability and integrity are the best indorsements that could be offered. 

Under the management of these gentlemen the roads have been 
operated for a long period with as rigid a measure of economy 
as the financial conditions of the company demanded, and 
yet with as much liberality and in as satisfactory a manner 
to the public service and the necessities of traffic as was 
possible under all the existing circumstances. The company 
was entangled in a somewhat complicated mesh of litigation 
during the first few years of its existence, and the corporate name 
has figured very extensively in the records of the United States 
Courts and Courts of the State, both as defendant and plaintiff to a 
tangled mass of suits. But when the unsettled, uncertain state of 
affairs is considered, when the controversies and desperate struggles 
for mastery, the heated and bitter rivalries, and the inevitable conflict 
of personal and corporate interests are all taken into account, the 
abundant harvest of tedious litigation which followed, seemed but a 
natural and legitimate result. 

Few roads of equal length in this country have enjoyed a similar 
measure of exemption from disasters, when all the disadvantages under 
which operations have been maintained have been taken into due con- 
sideration. From first to last there have been no serious collisions of rail 

296 History of Portland. 

accidents on the line involving the extensive loss of human life, or 
the destruction of much valuable property. This very important 
fact speaks in most emphatic terms of the care, caution and good 
judgment displayed in the management of trains for the past 
seventeen years. 

This article would be incomplete without the mention of Mr. H. 
Thielsen's name, and of the important part he took in the enterprise. 
Mr. Thielsen first arrived in Portland March 1, 1870. He at once 
assumed the duties of chief engineer and superintendent combined. 
Practically he became the acting manager of the road. Under his 
supervision the twenty miles of road which have been constructed 
between East Portland and Rock Island were rebuilt. He had charge 
of the building of the entire line between Rock Island and Roseburg. 
Mr. Thielsen has also built the line on the West Side from Portlaud 
to St. Joe, except some little preliminary operations done prior to 
his arrival here. Mr. Thielsen remained in charge of the engineering 
department of the road, and as practical engineer until the retirement 
of Holladay. Mr. Thielsen was succeeded by Mr. Koehler in 1874 
in the practical management of the road. Subsequently he retired 
from all connection with the road, and soon after accepted the 
position of chief engineer of the Oregon Railway & Navigation 

The car shops of the company were established by Holladay in 
1870, and were located two and a half miles south of the east side 
depot. Since they were first started, from eighty to one hundred 
men have been kept employed. Mr. Brandt has long held the 
position of master mechanic. Heretofore, the facilities for making 
necessary repairs and building new rolling stock have been compara- 
tively adequate to meet the requirements of the company; but now, 
that through connection has been established, the necessity for the 
enlargement of the shops and the increase of facilities has become 


No history of Portland would be complete without some notice 
of the system of narrow guage railways which terminate here, for 

Railroads. 297 

having no other outlet for their business, the Narrow Guage System 
and the Metropolis city must always be mutually dependent on each 
other for prosperity. 

This system was projected by Joseph Gaston, Esq., who has been 
noticed as the pioneer of the road between Oregon and California. 
Mr. Gaston took up the idea of a system of cheap and economically 
managed lines to more perfectly develop the resources of the 
Willamette Valley, in the year 1877, and for that purpose incor- 
porated a company to construct a road from Dayton to Sheridan, in 
Yamhill County, with a branch to Dallas in Polk County. He knew 
that any move of this kind would be regarded as a hostile demon- 
stration by the owners of the Oregon Central, with which he had 
been formerly connected, and, therefore, to avoid drawing their fire to 
as late a day as possible, he commenced his road at a point distant 
from this city, as if it were to be an unimportant affair. He relied 
for his means . to carry out the enterprise mainly on the wealthy 
farmers of Yamhill and Polk Counties, and made much the same 
appeals for popular support by public meetings and otherwise, as he 
had formerly made in behalf of the Oregon Central line. And 
although the owners of the Oregon Central very early comprehended 
the interloper in their field of business, and put out men to talk down 
and oppose Gaston, he had by April 1st, 1878, made such headway 
as to be able to break ground at Dayton and purchase the iron and 
rolling stock for forty miles of track. He pushed his work with 
great vigor, and in six months had the first forty miles of narrow 
guage railroad in Oregon in operation. 

After thus far succeeding the opposition did not abate their efforts 
to check or cripple Gaston's scheme of a system of railways co- 
terminous with the Willamette Valley. They saw too plainly that it 
meant low rates and no profits to their lines, when compelled to 
compete with the little narrow guage which was already picking up 
produce and passengers at every cross road. Mr. Villard was then 
rising to his zenith of power, and first offering to buy out Mr. Gaston 
without pledging himself to maintain the road he had built, he 
turned to buying up the claims for iron and other debts against it 
and threw it in the hands of a Receiver. But the man who had built 

298 History of Portland. 

forty miles of railroad, without a sack of flour to start with was not 
likely to be gotten rid of in that summary way. And Gaston quietly 
and speedily arranged with a syndicate of capitalists in Dundee, in 
Scotland, to take his road off his hands and carry out his plans of 
extending it not only to Portland, for which Gaston had incorporated 
the Willamette Valley Railroad Co., but also southwardly by 
branches on both sides of the Willamette River. 

This brings in the Oregonian Railway Company (limited), a 
corporation organized under Royal Charter in Dundee, Scotland. 
This company was organized through the efforts of William Reid, 
Esq., of Portland, who became its President. Mr. Reid quickly 
took the Gaston road out of the hands of the Receiver, and went to 
work in 1880 with great vigor to extend its lines to both sides of 
the Willamette, to the west side track and crossing the Willamette 
River at Ray's Landing and constructing from Dundee, in Yamhill 
County, to Coburg, in Lane County. 

After successfully operating this narrow guage system, now 
grown to be a formidable factor in the development of the Willamette 
Valley, and while Mr. Reid was in the midst of his work in extending 
the road from Dundee to Portland, Mr. Villard entered into negotia- 
tions to lease the narrow guage lines, which lease for 99 years, was 
finally accomplished in the year 1882. Upon the making of the 
lease, the work of extending the road to Portland was indefinitely 

It is but justice to record, that Mr. Reid bitterly opposed the 
making of this lease, and warned his constituent stockholders in 
Scotland, that although they might be stipulating for a handsome 
income on their investment it was not keeping faith with the people 
of Oregon, whose people and legislature had heartily encouraged the 
road by granting it the public levee in this city for terminal grounds, 
and by much other substantial aid, and that the lease would terminate 
badly. Mr. Villard operated the Narrow Gauge lines for about a year, 
and then repudiated the lease as made without authority or power, 
and abandoned the property to the tender mercies of the United 
States Circuit Court, which placed it in the hands of a Receiver for 
preservation during the pendency of the litigation to determine the 
validity of the lease. 

ZtytyrgWiTZims n Bra NX 

Manufacturing. 299 

Upon the execution of the lease, Mr. Reid withdrew from the 
Oregonian company, and in the year 1886 incorporated the Portland 
and Willamette Valley railroad company to construct a narrow gauge 
road from Dundee, in Yamhill county, the northern terminus of the 
narrow gauge lines above mentioned, to the city of Portland. This 
twenty -seven miles of track was very expensive, but was pushed to 
final completion to the public levee in this city in the year 1888. It 
is now known that leading capitalists of the Southern Pacific railroad 
have purchased, not only this last road built by Mr. Reid, but also 
all the lines constructed by the Oregonian company; the lease to 
Villard having been declared void by the Supreme Court of the 
United States, and the Scotch stockholders losing all their invest- 
ments, but the bondholders and other creditors of the road being 
paid out of the proceeds of such sale to the Southern Pacific com- 



Conditions Which Cause the Growth of Manufacturing at Portland— Character of 
Early Manufactures— Present Condition and Magnitude of Manufacturing Enterprises 
of Portland. 

THE development of Portland as a manufacturing point has been 
A much later than in the lines of commerce. Indeed, it can 
scarcely be said to have yet begun upon the real business of manu- 
facturing, unless in two or three particulars. Its industry has been 
chiefly confined to such departments as met an immediate local 
demand, and had no aim to reach out to something distant and world 
wide. It has not yet entered the minds of our capitalists that we 
have facilities here to compete with the mills of Pennsylvania, 
Illinois, or Michigan, for the trade of the western end of North 
America, or that by many advantages we may successfully operate 
for control of demands from the Pacific Islands, South America, and 

300 History of Portland. 

the Orient. Not until the present time and perhaps not even yet, 
would manufacturing on such a scale be so remunerative as in other 
lines of business. But now as the great profits of the early days are 
over it will be necessary to settle down to a larger, more extended 
and comprehensive sort of activity ; and this will naturally gravitate 
toward manufacturing. Railroad traffic, navigation, commerce, 
agriculture, all our interests will become restricted unless rounded 
out by the labor of the manufacturer, and the surplus wealth of the 
State, both natural and acquired will flow from us to the region from 
which we import our wares. 

With this industry as yet in its infancy, it is of course impossible 
to find for it much history. A glance at the unrivaled advantages 
we possess both from central position in a region of great 
natural wealth and from contiguity to the falls of the Willamette 
and the Cascades of the Columbia, has already been taken. L,owns- 
dale's journey has been spoken of. Mention has also been made of 
saw mills established in the city at an early day. The steam mill of 
Coffin and Abrams at the foot of Jefferson street was the fruit of this, 
being a capacious structure, and having a cutting capacity of over 
20,000 feet per day. This was built in 1853. 

Abrams was an indefatigable worker in lumbering, and with 
Hogue operated a mill for many years. J. C. Carson and J. P. 
Walker inaugurated enterprise in the sash and door business. Smith 
and Co. , Weidler and Governor Pennoyer extended the business to 
its present extensive proportions. As an off-shoot of the lumbering 
business we have manufacturers of furniture, pioneers of which were 
Messrs. Hurgren and Shindler, a firm still continued under the 
name of Hurgren and Co. I. R Powers entered the field somewhat 
later and now has one of the largest plants and works on the coast. 

Foundries were early established and gave principle attention to 
manufacture of boilers, steam engines, mill irons, steamboat fixtures, 
mining machinery and to a large degree iron fronts and ornamental 
works for buildings. In 1866 the iron works were established at 
Oswego, and have been operating intermittently since that date, 
having now become fully equipped with the best of furnaces, a 
railroad, and a large number of kilns for charcoal. 

Manufacturing. 301 

As a great business was that of flouring mills which began as 
early as' 1864, having gradually gained pre-eminence over the busi- 
ness in the same line at Oregon City and Salem. 

With the discovery and development of the quartz mines and ore 
beds of Idaho and Southern Oregon consequent upon the railroad 
development of the past decade, efforts were made for the establish- 
ment of reduction works at our city. These were first built on the 
line of the O. and C. R. R., in East Portland; the site, however, was 
abandoned, after a few months, and works have been constructed at 
Linnton, below the city. 

Fruit canneries, and dry-houses, tanneries, excelsior works, paper 
mill (at La Camas, operated by a Portland company), barrel works, 
pottery, rope factory, soap works, watch factory, willow ware, box 
factories, pickle works, meat preservatories, and a multitude of works 
for simple city needs, and ice and baker's goods, have grown with 
the growth of the country and of the place itself. 

The following extracts from the columns of the Oregonian for 
Jan. 1, 1890, indicate something of the prosperity and magnitude of 
the manufacturing of Portland: 

"January 1, 1890, opens up with over 600 firms engaged in 
converting the raw material into manufactured goods. They employ 
a bona fide working capital of over $14,000,000 and they furnish 
employment for 7, 859 workmen at just and living wages. Five million 
is the sum expended for home raw material. The gross amount 
realized from the co-operation of this capital and labor is $20,183,- 
044, leaving a net profit of $6,000,000 on a total investment of 
$13,000,000, which after deducting taxes and other legitimate 
expenditures will leave in the clear a net gain of 33 % per cent, for 
the year, a higher rate of gain than is realized by any manufactures 
of the Eastern and older cities. This is true because of the vast 
quantity of raw material purchased at home at reasonable prices, the 
comparative cheapness of land, and to the fact that competition has 
not here reached the cut-throat point of sacrificing all profit in the mad 
desire to do business at all hazards. One hundred and fifty-five 
distinct lines of manufacture are engaged in here to a greater* or less 
extent, and each is prospering beyond expectation. 

302 History of Portland. 

"The lumber trade and planing mills of Portland during the year 
1889 has been enormous, not only in the amount of output for local 
use, but in that required for export trade as well, and notwithstand- 
ing our timber facilities, much more has been imported of grades 
and qualities now in demand, but not of woods grown in Oregon or 
vicinity. In January, 1889, there were ten firms engaged in the 
trade and three-fourths of a million dollars in the lumbering interests 
and employing 517 hands. January 1, 1890, finds twelve firms 
engaged in the business, with a total output for the year of $2, 000, 000, 
furnishing employment to 760 hands, with wages running from 
$2.50 to $3.00 per day. Every mill is running to its fullest 
capacity, and a few of the larger companies are, and have been for 
months past, turning away profitable contracts for lack of men and 
and facilities for handling more trade. 

"During the past year the furniture trade began to assume the 
proportions that it should reach here, by reason of natural advantages 
enjoyed by this branch of business, in a country where the material 
is abundant and the water power all that could possibly be desired. 
Still we do not supply with domestic manufacture enough to meet 
the demand for home consumption. The importation of goods of 
Eastern make exceeds the home manufacture, notwithstanding the 
fact that the home product is very large. Four firms are actually 
engaged in manufacturing furniture, investing $490,000 in the 
business. The output was $600,000, as against $410,500 for the 
previous year. Five hundred men were employed in 1889 as against 
400 of the previous year. 

u The woolen mills owned by Portland men and operated by 
Portland capital have been a complete success and brought handsome 
returns to the men who were financially plucky enough to put their 
coin into the enterprise. The Oregon made goods have this year 
competed with Eastern goods both in quality and price. The 
exceedingly mild winter of 1889, and the moderate weather of the* 
present season has kept down the output to a lower point than the 
natural prosperity of the season should have induced but with these 
disadvantages, and with no increase of capital stock the output rose 
from $540,000 to $756,000 for the past year, giving employment 
to additional workmen. 

Manufacturing. 303 

"As to paper, ten newspapers in Portland and the Times, Press 
and Post-Intelligencer, of Seattle, and the Review, of Spokane Falls, 
are supplied with the paper on which they are printed from Portland. 
This immense tonnage of paper is the product of a factory owned by 
Portland men and run by Portland capital. The sum of $150,000 
is- invested in this business. Inprovements have been added during 
the year amounting to $17,000. In 1888, eighty hands were given 
employment in this industry; in 1889, ninety men. In 1888 the 
value of the output was $180,000; in 1889, $240,000; an increase 
of 33^ per cent, in the volume of business for the past year. The 
product: of these mills finds its way all over Oregon, Washington and 
Idaho, and recently very heavy shipments have been made to San 

' 'Portland being the center of a great wheat and cereal growing 
section, it is but natural that the converting of the golden grain into 
flour and feed should assume an important status. We not only 
make enough flour each day for our own consumption but thousands 
of barrels go to other coast ports, to England, to South America and 
other foreign countries. The capital stock invested in this industry 
was in 1888, $344,000 and in 1889, $350,000. , By turning the 
capital invested several times a year, the output during 1889 
reached the enormous sum of $2,806,000 as against $2,520,000 for 
1888, at the same time giving employment to sixty men at wages 
ranging from two to three dollars a day. 

' 'The smelting works located at Linnton, seven miles below Portland, 
is not merely a local institution, calculated only to benefit the city, 
but is of importance to the whole State and the Northwest as well. 
The capital stock of the smelting company is $1,000,000, of which 
$500,000 is fully paid in. The cost of the plant is $150,000. The 
smelter will have a capacity of 150 tons daily. The building is 
60x220 feet. When operations begin fully a large force of men will 
be given steady and regular employment. 

' 'Oswego, ten miles above Portland, is the location of one of the 
most important enterprises of the State. The iron product of the 
works here supplies most of the raw material for all of our foundry 
work and large quantities are shipped to every part of- the Northwest. 
The value of the product approaches $50, 000 annually. 

[ 2 o] 

304 History of Portland. 

"In foundries and machine shops the sum of $1,200,000 was 
invested in January, 1889. The year has witnessed its growth to 
$2,000,000. . The output has increased from $1,500,000 to $1,- 
750,000, while the number of men provided with employment has 
increased from 900 to 1,000. The men in this branch of business 
look for a constant increase and development for some years to come 
for several reasons. Boat building requires constantly more and more 
iron and steel, railroad construction is going forward in this part of 
the world without cessation, and buildings, especially those designed 
for business purposes, require quantities of iron in their construction. 
Prices remain firm and the work is steadily increasing, yielding fair 
and reasonable profit on the investment. 

' ' A prominent machinist, in speaking of the foundry work done in 
Portland, said that this industry, though enjoying great prosperity, 
was capable of still indefinite expansion. He said that the larger 
shops confine themselves, in a great measure, to repair work, that 
branch of the business being exceedingly profitable. There was no 
reason why Portland should import a single dollar's worth of 
machinery; that every particle used in the industries here could be 
made at home, yet that during the year nearly a million dollar's 
worth of machinery was purchased in the East for use in Portland. 

u At the corner of Third, H and G streets an immense foundry and 
also a machine shop are rapidly approaching completion. Two 
buildings are in course of construction, one 50x200 feet and the 
other 50x100, the cost of which exceeds the sum of $25,000. 

( 'The new foundry is being constructed .upon the most approved 
plans and will be supplied with the latest machinery for heavy marine 

u In brick-making the product for 1889 reached $230,000, and 
from the employment of 106 men in 1888, it rose to 225 in 1889, 
without any indication whatever pointing to a decrease of output for 

' 'The display of carriages, wagons, buggies and carts at the fair 
held in Portland was one of the most attractive features. The 
interest was occasioned principally by the fact that many of the 
samples on exhibition were made here. The roads of Oregon are 

Manufacturing. 305 

peculiarly and distinctively poor and there appears to be something 
in the soil peculiarly destructive to wagons, etc. For good and 
serviceable wear it is vastly important that goods of this class should 
be made here to supply all those characteristics made necessary by 
the peculiarities of our surroundings. The sum of $50,000 was 
invested in this business in 1888. This doubled for 1889. The 
output increased from $175,000 to $300,000, while the number of 
employees increased from 75 to 125.' Improvements have been 
made in some of the factory buildings and one new brick factory has 
been built. 

"Ship and boat builders have had a busy and prosperous season. 
The industry has been carried on without cessation. on both sides of 
the river during the entire year. A large number of fleet vessels 
have been constructed during 1889; and thousands of dollars 
expended in Portland's ship yards for repairs and improvements. 
Bach year's experience adds to the testimony in favor of Oregon fir 
for ship building, as well as innumerable other purposes. The boats 
turned out of our local ship yards, not only ply upon the waters of 
the Willamette and Columbia rivers, but are noted for speed and 
endurance on Puget sound and also upon the Pacific ocean. 

"A large proportion of the crackers and fancy small cakes 
consumed in this city and vicinity are products of home industry. 
In 1888 the output was $170,000, that is of the one factory then in 
operation, and in 1889 this had increased to $200,000. Forty men 
gain their livelihood through this industry. The concern uses up 
from forty to fifty barrels of flour per day. Factories of the same kind 
established in other near by cities, have started a lively competition, 
otherwise the output for 1889 would easily have reached the sum of 
$250,000. The machinery used in the factory is the latest 

"Early this year of 1890 another immense cracker factory will 
begin active operations here. Over $30,000 has been expended in 
new and latest improved machinery. The new plant will have a 
capacity of fifty barrels a day and will require the services of twenty- 
five men to begin with and as many more as increased trade may 

306 History of Portland. 

' 'Five years ago the idea of turning Oregon clay into sewer and 
chimney pipe was first carried into execution, and $50,000 were put 
into the business. The industry grew, and the capital was increased 
to $100,000. During 1888 and 1889 the business has increased to such 
an extent and imports have developed so that the company operating 
the business will enlarge the plant during 1890, having already 
bought ground for the purpose. It is claimed that a perfect fire- 
proof brick can be made here at a comparatively small cost, and the 
company will turn its attention largely to this department of the 
industry during the year just ushered in. Half a hundred men 
find regular and steady employment here at good living wages. 

"Brooms and willow ware of all descriptions are so necessary in 
every household that we at once appreciate the effect and importance 
of having them made at home. Probably the largest establishment 
for this purpose on the Pacific Coast is to be found in Portland In 
this industry fifty men are given employment. The capital invested 
in this business is about $100,000, and the output in 1888 was 
valued at $100,000, and in 1889 at $125,000. 

' 'For a city of its size Portland has more large and successful 
printing establishments than any other city in the United States. 
The printing trade has known no dullness during the past year. The 
season's fulfillment has overreached most sanguine expectations, and 
business still holds out with remarkable vitality. The opening day 
of 1890 finds 38 firms engaged in business, which invest the sum of 
$550,000, as against $500,000 for 1888, employing 410 men, as 
against 310 for 1888, with an output of $960,000, as against 

' 'The commendable activity and enterprise of the West is exhibited 
in no matter so clearly and emphatically as in seizing upon the 
advantages offered by the development of the powers of electricity. 
In this respect we are far in advance of Eastern cities of similar size, 
and Portland stands pre-eminent in availing herself of all the 
advantages that electricity brings. The whole of Portland and 
vicinity is illuminated at night by electricity, and well lighted at 
that. The excellence with which the city is lighted at night is more 
effective in the prevention of crime than even the watchful and 

Manufacturing. 307 

efficient police force. In electric lighting, the main feature observ- 
ant during the past year has been in the large increase of lights 
placed in private business houses. The increase in this line has been 
remarkable, and the service on the whole has been satisfactory. 

u By far the most important use to which electricity has been put 
during the past year has been in using it as the motive power on 
several street railway lines. 

"Careful investigation shows that each of the following industries 
have increased during the year 1889, both in the number of employes 
and in the total value of our out-put: Car shops, ice works, uphol- 
stering, coffee and spices, plumbing, bakeries, oils, shoes, furs, book- 
binding, wood-carving, matches, trunks, drugs, show-cases, watch- 
maknig, rubber stamps, signs, knitting socks, gloves, type metals 
bottling, marble work, brass, cigars, iron cornices, stoves, stairs, art 
glass, cabinet work, shoe-uppers, patent insides, paper boxes, wire 
springs, tanning, iron fences, fringe, umbrellas, electrotyping, wood 
fences, fanning mill, etc." 

308 History oi* Portland. 



Oregon Under Canadian Laws — Efforts of the American Settlers to Organize a 
Judiciary — Peculiar and Comical Features of their Proceedings — The first Judiciary 
System — Re-organization of the Judiciary by the Provisional Legislature of 184-5— 
Early Judges and Attorneys — Manner of Adopting the Laws of Iowa — Status of the 
Courts Prior to Territorial Government — First Court House at Portland — Establish- 
ment of Office of Recorder, and Other City Judicial Offices — List of Recorders, City 
Attorneys, Police Judges and Justices of Peace — Re-organization of the Judicial 
System after the Creation of Oregon Territory — Incidents in the Administrations of 
Justice During Territorial Period — First Term of the Supreme Court— Organization 
of Multnomah County Court— Sketches of Leading Attorneys of Portland Prior to 
1855 — Interesting Cases before the Supreme Court — Organization of the United 
States District Court — Portland Attorneys after the Admission of Oregon as a State — 
Re-organization of the Judicial System of the State in 1878 — Judges who have Served 
in Portland and Multnomah County Courts — Cases of Historic Importance Tried 
Before Portland Courts — United States vs. Randall — The Holladay Cases — List of 
Attorneys who have Practiced at the Portland Bar. 

THE origin and development of the Courts and the law in this 
community afford a striking illustration of the adaptability of 
the American people to the necessities of their condition, and their 
natural aptitude for State building and self government. Would 
the scope of our work permit, it would be interesting and instructive 
to follow in detail the various steps taken by the pioneers of Oregon 
in creating a civil polity for themselves without adventitious aid or 
the supervising control of a sovereign government, and to show how 
the diverse and often conflicting influences of religion, nationality, 
heredity and individual environments were blended and coalesced 
into a practical system of laws. But our present purpose is to 
describe the Bench and Bar of Portland, and reference to the growth 
of the legal and constitutional organism of the State is necessary 
only as it shows the conditions under which the Courts and the law 
in the city are to be viewed. 

The operation of the laws of Canada was, by Act of Parliament 
at an early day, extended to include the English subjects on the 
Pacific Coast, and three Justices of the Peace were commissioned, one 

The Bench and Bar. 309 

of whom, James Douglas, 1 afterward Sir James Douglas and Governor 
of the Hudson's Bay interests for a short time before the 
United States extended its jurisdiction over the Territory, resided at 
Vancouver and exercised his duties as Justice there until the 
provisional government was organized. 2 

The protestant missionaries, likewise, appointed a Justice of the 
Peace, but the cases that came before these officers for adjudication 
were rare and of little importance. The settlers were so few in 
number and so widely scattered that Courts were not often needed. 
With these exceptions there was no attempt to organize a judiciary 
in the Northwest until in 1841. 

At that time the American settlers in the Willamette Valley 
were anxious that the government of the United States ex- 
tend its sovereignty over the Oregon country and establish 
a system of local laws and government, but to this the sen- 
timent of the French and Canadian settlers was more or less 
openly hostile. Ewing Young, who had been an active and promi- 
nent figure in the settlement and had, after a life of adventure and 
roving, accumulated a small estate, chiefly by a successful enterprise 
in driving from California a herd of cattle, died at his home near the 
present site of the town of Gervais, and the advocates of a local 
government found a convenient pretext for the consummation of 
their plans in the absence of probate courts and laws to regulate the 
administration of his estate. A meeting was held by the settlers, 
after the funeral, at Young's house, which, after appointing a 
committee to draft a constitution and a code of laws and recommending 
the creation of certain offices, and, in committee of the whole, 
nominating persons for those offices, adjourned until the next day. 
In accordance with the adjournment a full meeting was held at the 
American Mission House on the 18th day of February, 1841, and, 
among other proceedings had, I. I,. Babcock was elected Supreme 
Judge, with probate powers. 

i Douglas was elected by the Legislature of 1845 one of the District Judges of 
the Vancouver District. 

2 Under this act the Justices had jurisdiction to the amount of two hundred pounds 
sterling, and in criminal cases, upon sufficient cause being shown, the prisoner was to 
be sent to Canada for trial. 

310 History of Portland. 

The peculiar and comical feature of this proceeding was in the 
adoption of a resolution at this meeting instructing the Supreme 
Judge to act according to the laws of the State of New York until a 
code of laws should be adopted by the community. One historian 
affirms that at the time there was not a copy of the New York Code 
in the settlement, 3 and certainly there was not more than one. 

The judge was a physician, connected with the Methodist Mission, 
who had perhaps never read a law book. By some adverse fate the 
projected government was never finally organized as intended, but 
Dr. Babcock was subsequently elected a Circuit Judge, and, at the 
time the first houses were building in Portland, he was holding court 
in the Clackamas district and occasionally in the district which 
included the present county of Multnomah. 4 Another attempt at 
forming a provisional government was made in 1843, with the result 
that an Organic I^aw, somewhat rudely framed upon the ground plan 
of the Ordinance of 1787, was adopted by the people at a public 
meeting held July 5, 1843. 

In the meantime, while taking the preliminary steps toward 
organization and the adoption of laws, at a meeting held on the 2d 
day of May, 1843, at Champoeg, A. E. Wilson, 5 was selected to act 
as Supreme Judge, with probate powers, and a number of magistrates 
were elected. By the adoption of the judiciary system proposed at 
the same meeting by the legislative committee, these officers were 
continued in office until their successors should be elected, and a 
general election was provided for on the 2d day of May, 1844. 

The territory was organized into four districts for Judicial 
purposes, the First District, to be called the Tuality District, 

3 Gray History of Oregon, page 201. Wells History of the Willamette Valley, 
page 243. 

4 The estate of Ewing Young was without an administrator until in 1844, when 
the Legislature authorized the appointment of one. (See Laws of 1843-1849, pub- 
lished in 1853,page 94). Several suits were brought against it, in one of which, the name 
of the administrator was omitted, and the estate itself was sued; the judgment was 
reversed on this ground, and this was one of the earliest cases in which an opinion 
was written by the Oregon Supreme Court, contained in Vol. I, Supreme Court 
Records, page 90. A. L. Lovejoy was the administrator. The Legislature subsequently 


//CU c^u^j&^p^A^^ 

The Bench and Bar. 311 

comprised all the country south of the northern boundary of the 
United States, west of the Willamette or Multnomah River, north 
of the Yamhill River and east of the Pacific Ocean. 

This arrangement, however, was altered by the first Legislature 
that met pursuant to the provisions of the organic act, in June, 1844, 
and the whole fabric of government was remodeled. So far as the 
judiciary was concerned the change was chiefly in vesting the judicial 
power in Circuit Courts and Justices of the Peace, and providing for 
the election of one Circuit Judge, with probate powers, whose duty 
it should be to hold two terms of Court annually in each county. 
Justices of the Peace and other officers were to be elected, and their 
duties were defined. 

Babcock, who had been elected Circuit Judge in May, 1844, 
defeating by a considerable majority, J. W. Nesmith, P. H. Burnett, 
P. G. Stewart, Osborn Russell and O. Johnson, resigned the office 
November 11, 1844. He was succeeded by J. W. Nesmith, who 
held his first term in April, 1845, at Oregon City. 

The Courts were now fully and properly organized, but there 
were no suits of importance at this period. Almost all the cases were 
heard before the Justices of the Peace and no record remains. The 
earliest record of any case in the Supreme Court arose from the 
district in which Portland was included, between two farmers who 
came to the territory with the large immigration of 1843, and located 
in the prairies of Yamhill County. It seems that among the cattle 
brought overland in that year in great numbers by the settlers, 
Ninevah Ford and Abi Smith each had several head, but when the 
valley was reached these had dwindled down in number, by the 

ordered a sale of the property and the use of the proceeds to erect a log jail, pledg- 
ing the return of the money to any heirs of Young that might establish their claim. 
It may be added that heirs did appear and claimed the property, but afterwards 
assigned the claim, and several unsuccessful efforts were made to collect the money 
from the State, until finally by Legislative action the full sum and interest was paid. 

5 Albert B. Wilson was an intelligent, unassuming and excellent young man, who 
came to the country in the employ of Caleb Cushing; of Massachusetts, in company 
with Captain Couch, on the Chenamus, and was left in charge of the stock of goods, 
brought out by that vessel, at Oregon City in 1842, He was not a lawyer by education. 

312 History of Portland. 

hardships and short rations of the journey, and both Ford and Smith 
claimed the ownership of a certain pair of oxen that remained. 
Ford had the cattle and Smith brought suit for their possession and 
upon trial before two Justices of the Peace, sitting as a Supreme 
Court, in April, 1844, a verdict was returned by the jury in favor of 
the plaintiff. 

The Legislature that was elected in 1845, under this new 
scheme of government, at once appointed a committee again to 
revise the Organic Law, and then it was that the fundamental act 
which is generally referred to as creating the Provisional Government, 
a model of statecraft, and upon which the State Constitution of 
Oregon was afterwards constructed, was prepared, and subsequently 
ratified by the people at an election held July 26, 1845. 

By the eighth section of Article II of this instrument, the 
judicial power was vested in the Supreme Court and in such inferior 
Coixrts as might, from time to time, be established by law. The 
Supreme Court, consisting of one judge, to be elected by the House 
of Representatives for the term of four years, was given appellate 
jurisdiction only, with general superintending control over all inferior 
Courts of law, and power to issue certain original remedial writs and 
to hear and determine the same. The Legislature might also 
provide for giving the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in criminal 

The Legislature elected Nathaniel Ford, of Yamhill County, 
Supreme Judge at its meeting, August 9, 1845, and passed various 
acts creating district, probate, criminal and justice courts, electing 
B. O. Tucker, H. Higgins and Wm. Burris, District Judges of 
Tuality County. Nathaniel Ford declined to accept the office of 
Supreme Judge and the House elected in his stead Peter H. Burnett. 

Burnett had come to Oregon in 1843 from Missouri, where he 
had been District Attorney, and with General M. M. McCarver, 
afterward Speaker of the House of Representatives, had located and 
laid out the town of Linnton, on the Willamette, and lived there in 
the early part of 1844, but in May, 1844, he removed with his family 
to a farm in Tualatin Plains near Hillsboro. He was one of the 

The Bench and Bar. 313 

Legislative Committee in 1844, and again in 1848. 6 Burnett was 
perhaps the ablest lawyer of this period of Oregon History, 7 but 
as he says, 8 there was nothing to do in his profession until some time 
after his arrival in Oregon and he was therefore compelled to become 
a farmer. He held the office of Supreme Judge until December 29, 
1846, when he resigned the office. 9 Elected to the Legislature of 
of the Provisional Government, in 1848, he again resigned, this time 
to go to California, where he received a commission from President 
Polk, dated August 14, 1848, as one of the Justices of the Supreme 
Court of Oregon, under the Territorial organization. This commis- 
sion he declined, and in August, 1849, was elected Judge or Minister 
of the Superior Tribunal of California. 10 On the organization of 
that State, he was elected Governor, and subsequently became a 
banker at San Francisco. 

When Judge Burnett opened Court, June 2, 1846, at Oregon City, 
three attorneys were admitted to the bar: 11 W. G. T. Vault, A. L. 
Lovejoy and Cyrus Olney. 12 These were the first attorneys regularly 
admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in Oregon, though 
others were in the Territory and had practiced before the inferior 
Courts, and of these three, two of them, A. L. Lovejoy and Cyrus 
Olney are identified in no slight degree with the history of the Bench 
and Bar of Portland. 

Both Pettygrove and Lovejoy, the original Portlanders, were 
versed in the law. Pettygrove was a merchant at Oregon City and 
served as Judge of the District Court, in the Clackamas District in 
1844 and 1845, resigning his office in December, 1845. 13 Lovejoy 
was one of the first lawyers that came to the territory, and from the 

6 Burnett's Recollections, page 193. 7 Gray's History of Oregon, page 374. 

8 Burnett's Recollections, page 181. 9 1 Sup. Court Record, page 2. 

10 Burnett's Recollections, page 339. n 1 Sup. Ct. Rec. 52. 

12 A. A. Skinner was also an attorney of the Court and these with Judge Burnett, 
after his resignation as Judge, were the only attorneys admitted to practice until 
June, 1848, when Samuel R. Thurston, Aaron B. Wait and Milton BHiott were 
on motion admitted to practice, (1 Sup. Ct. Rec. 98), these were the only at- 
torneys admitted to practice in the Supreme Court before the organization of 
Oregon Territory. 13 Or. Archives, page 129. 

314 History of Portland. 

first his name is associated with public affairs. He was a very 
positive character, firm and often extreme in his opinions, but was a 
man of many good qualities. He lived but a brief time at Portland, 
though he always took an interest in its affairs. In his earlier years 
in Oregon, particularly in the days of the provisional government, 
he was an active practitioner, and frequently served as Prosecuting 
Attorney 14 and as a member of the Legislature, and was the first 
regular Democratic candidate for Governor of Oregon under the 
provisional government, but as he grew older he devoted himself to 
the quiet of farm life near Oregon City, where he died 1882. A 
sketch of his connection with the founding of Portland is presented 
in a preceding chapter. 

The first business before the Supreme Court, and the first written 
opinion of which there is any record, was in reference to an application 
of James B. Stephens for a license to keep a ferry across the Willamette 
at Portland, which was denied on the ground that the statute conferring 
the power to grant licenses upon the Supreme Court was unconstitu- 
tional as in contravention of the provisions of the Organic Law 
which gave the Court appellate jurisdiction only, except in criminal 
cases. The only other business done at this term was in a case 
wherein John H. Couch, of Portland, was plaintiff. • 

After Judge Burnett resigned, J. Quinn Thornton was appointed 
Supreme Judge, Feb. 9, 1847, and held his first term of Court at 
Oregon City on the 7th day of June, 1847. He was succeeded again, 
after holding two terms, by Columbia Lancaster, who also held two 
terms, the June and September terms in 1848, at Oregon City. 

The Legislative committee that met at Willamette in May, 1843, 
to prepare an Organic Law, at their meeting, May 19, provided for 
the appointment of a committee of three, to prepare and arrange the 
business done at that session and revise the laws of Iowa. 15 This 
was the first suggestion of the use of the Iowa Laws in Oregon. The 
committee having reported the laws as revised by them, they were 
adopted with some modifications at a subsequent meeting. 16 The 

14 Sup. Ct. Rec, page 10. 

is Or. Archives, 19. Gray's History of Oregon, 344. 

16 June 28, 1843. Or. Archives, 23, 24. 

The Bench and Bar. 315 

same body also adopted a resolution to purchase several law books of 
James O'Neil to be the property of the community, and though it is 
not positively known, it is believed that among these books was the 
only volume of the Iowa Code then in the colony. 17 At any rate, at 
the public meeting of the people July 5, 1843, this report of the 
Legislative committee was adopted, and it was, ' 'Resolved, That the 
following portions of the laws of Iowa, as laid down in the Statute 
Laws of Iowa, enacted at the first session of the Legislative Assembly 
of said Territory, held at Burlington, A. D., 1838-39; published by 
authority, DuBuque, Bussel and Reeves, printers, 1839, certified to 
be a correct copy by Wm. B. Conway, Secretary of Iowa Territory, 
be adopted as the laws of this Territory; viz: etc." 

The book was brought to Oregon in 1843; it was called the 
"blue book," and was bound in blue boards. On the 27th of June, 
1844, the Legislative Committee adopted an Act "Regulating the 
Executive Power, the Judiciary and for Other Purposes, " of which 
Art. Ill, Sec. 1, was as follows: "Set. 1. All the Statute Laws of 
Iowa Territory passed at the first session of the Legislative Assembly 
of said Territory and not of a local character, and not incompatible 
with the condition and circumstances of the country shall be the law 
of the government, unless otherwise modified; and the Common Law 
of England and principles of equity, not modified by the Statutes of 
Iowa or of this government and not incompatible with its principles, 
shall constitute a part of the law of the land. ' ' 

After the Organic Law had been remodeled in 1845, and the 
Legislature convened in August of that year, it was deemed advisable 
to re-enact the Iowa Laws, lest any doubt of their binding force 
under the new provisional government be entertained, and accordingly 
a bill for that purpose was passed, August 12, 1845. 18 At this time 
there was no printing press in Oregon, and though many laws were 
enacted it is not to be presumed that they were very widely 
promulgated, and perhaps the maxim that ignorance of the law 
excuses no one, would, under the circumstances, prove severe in 

17 Thornton, Or. and Cal. Vol. II, page 31. 

18 Or. Archives, page 101. 

316 History of Portland. 

application. 19 But, again, on the organization of the Territory in 
1849, under the laws of the United States, the same question as to 
how far these statutes were the law of the Territory, was raised, and 
in order to settle any doubts as to the law, a similar statute was 
enacted by the Territorial Legislature at its first session, September 
29, 1849. In the meantime the addition of 1843 of the Code of Iowa 
had found its way to Oregon, which also was bound in blue board 
covers. This book now became familiarly known as the "Blue 
Book" and the former edition as the "Little Blue Book." 20 The act, 
adopting this edition, provided for the substitution of the word 
"Oregon" for" Iowa" wherever it occurred in the Iowa Code of 1843, 
and directed 21 that the laws with certain changes "be indexed and 
published after the manner of the Iowa Laws of the date aforesaid, to 
which shall be prefixed the Declaration of Independence, the Consti- 
tution of the United States, the Ordinance of 1787, the Constitution 
of the Provisional Government of Oregon, and the Organic Laws of 
Oregon Territory. " 22 

19 The Oregon Spectator, the first Oregon newspaper, appeared at Oregon City in 
1845, and this paper contained the only publication of the Statutes from time to time 
until 1851. 

20 Bancroft, Vol. XXIV, page 435. 

21 Laws of 1843-49, published 1853, page 103. At this time there was a great 
controversy as to the constitutionality of an act locating the State Capital and other 
institutions, and Judges Strong and Nelson siding with the persons who opposed the 
location of the Capital at Salem, held the statute invalid as relating more than one 
subject, not expressed in the title thereof. Judge Pratt decided that the act was 
valid and held Court at Salem. This code was nicknamed the " Steamboat Code" by 
Amory Holbrook, then District Attorney, and the title was adopted by many who 
sided with Judges Strong and Nelson, the soubriquet deriving its piquancy from the 
fact that the statute adopting it was loaded with miscellaneous provisions, not 
specifically indicated by the title. Judge Pratt at the request of the Legislature 
submitted an opinion in writing to that body advocating the constitutionality of the 
act. In the Winter of 1853-54 the new judges of the Supreme Court appointed in 
the meantime, held the act valid. 

22 This publication was prepared for the Territorial Secretary, Gen. Edward 
Hamilton, by Matthew P. Deady, and contained only those parts of the Iowa Code 
generally recognized as the law in Oregon, and in January, 1853, an act was passed 
authorizing the collection and publication of the statutes of the provisional govern- 
ment not published in that volume. This is entitled "Oregon Archives," and was 
edited by L. F. Grover. In the same session of the Legislature, a commission 

The Bench and Bar. 317 

The peculiar status of the Courts at this period, is expressed by 
Judge Deady, in the case of Lownsdale vs. City of Portland, decided 
in 1861, in the following language, which was afterward quoted with 
approval by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of 
Stark vs. Starrs: 23 

"It is well known that at the time of the organization of Oregon 
Territory, an anomolous state of things existed here. The country 
was extensively settled and the people were living under an indepen- 
dent goverment established by themselves. They were a community 
in the full sense of the word, engaged in agriculture, trade, commerce 
and the mechanic arts; had built towns, opened and improved farms, 
established highways, passed revenue laws and collected taxes, made 
war and concluded peace. ' ' 

In the case of Baldro vs. Tolmie (1 Or. Rep. 178), the territorial 
Supreme Court, after the provisional government was superceded, 
speaking through Williams, C. J., said: "Confessedly the provisional 
government of this territory was a government de facto, and if it be 

23 6 Wall, U. S. 402. 

consisting of Messrs. J. K. Kelly, R. P. Boise, and D. R. Bigelow was appointed 
to draft a code, this was, by Judge Olney's influence, separated into statutes on 
various subjects before being adopted as a code. It was printed in New York, and 
after about 100 copies had been received in Oregon the remainder of the edition was 
lost in the wreck of a vessel bringing them via the Upper Columbia. Another 
edition was authorized in 1854-55 in which was incorporated, as a supplement, the 
statutes adopted at that session of the Legislature. In 1860, A. C. Gibbs and J. K. 
Kelly were appointed a commission to draft a civil code, but on the election of Gibbs 
as Governor, the two commissioners appointed Matthew P. Deady, who was then 
Judge of the District Court of the U. S., to assist, and the work was done by him and 
adopted by the Legislature of 1863. This was a laborious task, as the alterations 
necessary on account of the change from Territory to State and the alterations of 
counties, courts and practice required much detail work. The same Legislature then 
authorized the compilation of a Criminal Code by Judge Deady, which he accom- 
plished, and reported his work to the Legislature of 1864, which adopted it without 
change, — Judge Deady reading it through on the last day of the session himself in the 
Senate to insure its passage, as he was a very rapid reader, and could read for several 
consecutive hours without rest. Deady was then authorized to compile for publication 
anew all the codes and laws, and this was published under his supervision, in 1864, 
he reading the proof. In 1872, the Legislature authorized Judge Deady and Sylvester 
C. Simpson, a member of the Portland bar, to collect and arrange the laws with 

318 History of Portland. 

admitted that governments derive their 'just powers from the consent 
of the governed, ' then it was a government de jure. Emigrants who 
first settled Oregon, upon their arrival here, were without any 
political organization to protect themselves from foes without or to 
preserve peace within; and, therefore, self-preservation constrained 
them to establish a system of self-government. Congress knowing 
their necessities and withholding the customary provisions for such a 
case, tacitly acquiesced in the action of the people, and, on the 
fourteenth of August, 1848, expressly recognized its correctness and 
validity. No reason can be imagined for holding that the people of 
Oregon, in 1844, had no right to make such laws as their wants 
required; for where the functions of government have not been 
assumed or exercised by any other competent authority, it cannot be 
denied that such a power is inherent in the inhabitants of any 
country, isolated and separated as Oregon was from all other com- 
munities of civilized men. Some effort has been made to assimilate 
the laws in question to mere neighborhood agreements, but the 
argument seems to apply with equal force to the acts of all govern- 
ments established by the people. " 

Thus it will be seen that the infant city of Portland, though not 
under the protection of the laws of the United States in its earlier 
years, was, nevertheless, a part of an organized and existing political 
autonomy, and its inhabitants were bound by an intelligent system of 
laws which were valid and authoritative and administered by- a 
regularly constituted tribunal. 

Within the limits of the settlement at Portland there were no 
Courts during the time of the provisional government. There were 
several justices of the peace within the Tuality District, but they 
resided in the level country west of the Portland hills and far south- 
ward toward the Yamhill river. But in December, 1845, an act was 

notes and references. Soon after, Mr. Simpson resigned from the commission and the 
Governor appointed Lafayette Lane in his place. The work was mainly done by 
Judge Deady, and published in 1874. W. Lair Hill undertook to compile a new 
collection of laws in 1885 and received Legislative sanction and approval in 1887. 
He carefully collected and arranged the laws and added copious annotations and 
references to decisions both of Oregon and other States, and published it under the 
name " Hill's Annotated Statutes of Oregon." 

The Bench and Bar. 319 

adopted by the legislature providing for the election of an additional 
justice of the peace in the Eastern District of the Tuality District, 
and accordingly A. H. Prior was elected and received his com- 
mission on the 7th day of October, 1846, and he may be said to be 
the first judicial officer at Portland, for he afterwards held his office 
at that place in his precinct. 24 

In 1849, Portland then having but one hundred inhabitants, an 
association was formed to erect a meeting house, and this building 
was used for several years afterward for a court house and also as a 
school house and a place for religious meetings. 

When the city was incorporated, in January, 1851, the office of 
recorder 25 was created and this officer was given the same jurisdiction 
as a justice of the peace as to offences committed within the city, and 
also exclusive jurisdiction in cases of violation of city ordinances, 
and jurisdiction as a justice of the peace in the collection of debts. 
A city attorney 26 was also provided for by the amended charter of 
1852. 27 By an amendment of October 28, 1870, the office of 
recorder was abolished and the police judge was made the judicial 
officer of the corporation, and his Court was named the Police Court. 28 
He was given substantially the same jurisdiction that had been 
exercised by the recorders. 29 

2* Laws 1843-9, Pub. 1853, page 38; 1 Sup. Court Rec, page 3. 

2r> The following is a list of the persons who held office of city recorder: W. S. 
Caldwell, 1851; S. S. Slater, 1852; A. C. Bonnell, 1853; A. P. Dennison, 1854; L. 
Limerick, 1855; A. L. Davis, 1856-7; Alonzo Leland, 1858; Noah Huber, 1859; O. 
Risley, 1861; J. F. McCoy, 1862-5; J. H. Hoffman, 1866-8; O. Risley, 1869; Levi 
Anderson, 1870. 

26 The following is a list of the city attorneys after 1865: J. N. Dolph, 1865-6; 
W. W. Upton, 1867; D. Freidenrich, 1868; W. F. Trimble, 1869; C. A. Dolph, 
1870-1; C. A. Ball, 1872; M. F. Mulkey, 1873-4; A. C. Gibbs, 1875; John M. 
Gearin, 1876-7; J. C. Moreland, 1878-82; S. W. Rice, 1883; R. M. Dement, 1884; 
A. H. Tanner, 1885-7; W. H. Adams, 1887-. 

27 Special Laws, 1852, page 6. 

28 The police judges were: D. C. Lewis, 1871; O. N. Denny, 1872-5; W. H. 
Adams, 1876-9; L. B. Stearns, 1880-2; S. A. Moreland, 1883-5; Ralph M. Dement, 
1885-8; A. H. Tanner, 1889-. 

29 Charter 170, Sees. 154, 160 and 175. 


320 History of Portland. 

The city was also divided into precincts, in each of which justices 
of the peace were elected. At first these were the North and South 
Portland precincts; they were afterward subdivided and extended, 
until, for a long time, the city supported six of these Courts, besides 
the Police Court and the Courts of Record; but in 1885 the legisla- 
ture attempted to cure what had long been a public nuisance, by 
abolishing a number of these useless tribunals and returning to the 
original plan of having but two precincts, called the North and South 
Portland precincts respectively. 30 

As the Territory of Oregon came into existence, March 3, 1849, 
when the new Governor, Joseph Lane, arrived at Oregon City and 
issued his proclamation to that effect, the District and Supreme 
Courts under the provisional government ceased their functions, and 
new Judges of the Supreme Court, appointed by the President pur- 
suant to the A61 of Congress, soon after came to Oregon. The first 
Judges were Wm. P. Bryant, Chief Justice; Peter G. Burnett and 
James Turney. Turney did not accept and Orville C. Pratt was 
substituted. Judge Burnett, as we have said, had already gone to 
California, and declined the office, and William Strong was appointed 
in his stead in 1850. In that year Chief Justice Bryant also 
resigned, and Thomas Nelson was appointed in his place. 

The legislature provided for a special term of the Supreme 
Court by an A61 passed August 28, 1849, and accordingly two days 
afterward, Judges Bryant and Pratt opened the term at Oregon City. 

30 The Justices of the Peace who have served in the following precincts since 1863, 
are: 1863-4— L. Anderson, North Portland; D. W. L,ichenthaler, South Portland. 
1865-6— L. Anderson, North Portland; Geo.B. Gray, South Portland. 1867— L. 
Anderson, North Portland; Jno. Corey, South Portland; I. Graden, Central. 1868 — 
L. Anderson, North Portland; S. A. Moreland, Central. 1869-70— J. O. Waterman 
North Portland; Jno. C. Work, Central; M. P. Bull, Washington. 1871 1 72— Thos 
J. Dryer, North Portland; C. Crich, Sotith Portland; A. M. Snyder, Central; S. A. 
Moreland, Washington. 1873— Alex. Dodge, North Portland; C. Crich, South 
Portland; Thos. J. Dryer, Western, B. W. Ryan, Morrison, H. W. Davis, Madison; 
U Anderson; Couch. 1874— E. Russell, North Portland; C. Crich, South Port- 
land; Thos. J. Dryer, Western; E. W. Ryan, Morrison; H. W. Davis, Madison. 
L. Anderson, Couch. 1875— J. Reilly, North Portland; O. IS. Phelps South Port- 
land; Thos. J. Dryer, Western; A. Bushwiler, Morrison; H. W. Davis, Madison; L. 
Anderson, Couch. 1876-7— C. S. Clark, North Portland; O. S. Phelps and C. 
Crich, South Portland; Thos. J. Dryer, Western; R. E. Bybee, Morrison; H.W.Davis, 

The Bench and Bar. 321 

There was only one case before the Court, which was decided, and 
an order was entered transferring the causes remaining undetermined 
in the Supreme Court of the late provisional government, and 
another order directing the Marshal to procure a seal and to provide 
the necessary stationery and a room at the Capital of the Territory 
for a court room. 

The legislature had previously (July, 1849), changed the name 
of the Tualitin County, or Tualitin District as it had been called in 
earlier times, 31 to Washington County. Hillsboro was then, as 
now, the county seat, and the county included at that time the 
present County of Multnomah, which was segregated in 1854, when 
Portland became the county seat. 

Until this latter event, almost all the law business of Portland was 
disposed of at Hillsboro. Judge Pratt, who was assigned to the district 
which included Washington county, was an able and upright judge. 
He was a tall and dignified man, rather elegant in his tastes and 
somewhat precise. He was a thoroughly educated lawyer, and 
although he engaged in the factious political controversies of the 
time, he was generally respedled. On one occasion, Judge A. E> 
Wait, then practicing at Oregon City, presented a proposition in a 
cause pending before Judge Pratt at Hillsboro, which the latter 
thought bad law. " You need not argue that, Mr. Wait," said the 
Court, u it is not the law, and I don't want to hear it." u But, your 
Honor, I have here an authority which sustains me, and which I 

31 The word ''County" in place of " District" was authorized by Act of the Legis- 
lature, approved December 22, 1845. Laws of Oregon, 1843-1849, page 35. 

Madison; L. Anderson, Couch. 1878-9— J- B. Evans and J. R. Wiley, North Port- 
land, C. Cric.h, South Portland; Thos. J. Dryer, Western; R. E. Bybee, Morrison; 
H. W. Davis, Madison; L. Anderson and A. Bushwiler, Couch. 1880-81— C. 
Petrain, North Portland; S. S. White, South Portland; J. Phelan, Western; R. B. 
Bybee, Morrison; H. W. Davis, Madison; A. Bushwiler, Couch. 1882-83— S, H. 
Greene, North Portland; S. S. White, South Portland; .A. Keegan, Western; R. E. 
Bybee, Morrison; H. W. Davis, Madison; A. Bushwiler, Couch. 1884-5 — S. H. 
Greene, North Portland; S. S. White, South Portland; C C Redman, Western; R. 
E. Bybee, Morrison; H. W. Davis, Madison; A. Bushwiler, Couch. 1886-7 — A. 
Bushwiler, North Portland; B. B. Tuttle, South Portland. 1888-89— J. Phelan, 
North Portland; B. B. Tuttle, South Portland. 1890— John D, Biles, North Port- 
land; W. H, Wood, South Portland, 

322 History of Portland. 

would like to read. " " You need not read it, it is bad law if it sus- 
tains your proposition, and I will uot hear it. You may sit down. 
I will take the case under advisement on the other questions pre- 
sented, and will announce my decision this afternoon at the opening 
of Court. ' ' Other business was taken up by the Court and it soon 
became Wait's duty to argue another case. After stating his posi- 
tion and presenting his argument, Wait quietly proceeded to read 
his authority bearing on the point in controversy, and among other 
cases he read the one which the Court had previously refused to 
hear, although it did not relate to the matter then in hand. Judge 
Pratt leaned forward and was on the point of administering a repri- 
mand on the presumptuous attorney, but, evidently thinking better 
of it, settled back and listened without comment until the case was 
read, when Wait turned down the leaf and laid the book on the 
Judge's desk and proceeded with his argument. At noon Pratt took 
the book with him to his dinner table, and on resuming the Bench, 
announced his decision in favor of Wait, citing the case which had 
been forced upon his attention. 

Judge Pratt on another occasion disbarred Col. W. W. Chapman 
because the latter filed an affidavit for his client, asking a change of 
venue on the ground that the Judge was biased and prejudiced 
against his client. Chapman drew the affidavit in general terms 
alleging prejudice, but the motion was disallowed on the ground 
that the affidavit was insufficient; whereupon an affidavit was filed 
which alleged the facts in detail relied upon to show prejudice. 
Judge Pratt called Chapman to account at once, and required him to 
show cause why his name should not be stricken from the roll. The 
result was that a judgment was rendered suspending Chapman from 
practice for two years and he was ordered imprisoned. A writ of 
error was however obtained from the Supreme Court, staying the 
proceedings before any real attempt was made to enforce Judge 
Pratt's order. At the December term, 1851, of the Supreme Court, 
at the opening of the Court, a motion was made for the admission of 
Chapman as an attorney of that Court; the objection was made that 
he had been suspended by Judge Pratt, but after taking the matter 
under consideration for a day or two, he was allowed to take the 



The Bknch and Bar. 323 

oath and sign the roll as an attorney of that Court and in the 
meantime, while the matter was under consideration, he was permitted 
to argue a case before the Court. 

Judge Pratt's term expired in 1852, and he opened a law office at 
Multnomah City, opposite Oregon City, for a while, but after a short 
time removed to California, where he has sustained the promise of 
his career in Oregon, and his reputation and his fortune has grown 
with his years. 

Judge Nelson and Judge Bryant never held Court in Washington 
County, but the Portland lawyers were often before them when on 
the Circuit as well as when holding Supreme] Court. A lawyer's 
business in those days, and for many years after Oregon had 
advanced to the dignity of Statehood, required him to u ride the 
Circuit" and to follow the Court in its peregrinations from 
county to county. So that, in a sense, the early history of the 
Bench and Bar of Portland is closely identified with that of the 
whole State. There were few Court Houses, and the accommoda- 
tions at the hotels were often rude. One term of Court at Eugene 
City, at about this time, was held under an umbrageous oak tree. 
The mode of travel was upon horseback, and it was usual to stop at 
night at farm houses on the way. At the county seats, the lawyers, 
judges, litigants and witnesses boarded around at different houses, 
and as there were few public amusements, the evenings were generally 
spent in fireside conversations, where the time passed very pleasantly 
with jokes and stories. Sometimes, however, the rush of business 
during term time demanded midnight lucubrations, as was the case 
with Judge Wait on one occasion at Hillsboro. Amory Holbrook 
had been retained in an important case against some of the owners of 
the town site of Portland regarding a steamship, for some San 
Francisco people, and desiring to go Bast, employed Wait to take 
charge of the case in his absence. Wait was] confronted by all the 
lawyers of note in the Territory. There' [were Chapman & Mayre, 
Hamilton & Stark, Lansing Stout, Boise & Campbell, David Logan 
and others from Portland, and Columbia Lancaster from Multnomah 
City, all interposing pleas "and demurrers and raising every objection 

324 History of Portland. 

that ingenuity eould suggest. Poor Wait was almost submerged, 
but by dint of working all night, he was ready each morning for 
his antagonists and managed to hold his own. 

Governor L,ane, by proclamation, established three Judicial 
Districts, and assigned Judge Bryant to one, consisting of Vancouver 
and the counties immediately south of the Columbia, and Judge 
Pratt to the district called the Second District, which comprised 
the remaining counties in the Willamette Valley. There was no 
Judge in the territory at that time to sit in the Third District, which 
included the remainder of what is now the State of Washington. 
Judge Bryant was but five months in the territory. He returned to 
the East and resigned Jan. 1, 1851; and for nearly two years Judge 
Pratt remained the only Judge in the Court in Oregon. 32 

Judge William Strong arrived by water in August, 1850, and 
Judge Nelson in April, 1851. On the same ship with Strong came 
General Edward Hamilton, territorial secretary, who subsequently 
took up his residence at Portland and became an active member of 
the bar there. He was associated for some years with Benjamin 
Stark, under the firm name, Hamilton & Stark. 

Judge Strong's district was the Third and was wholly included 
within the present State of Washington, and he took up his 
residence at Cathlamet on the Columbia. Chief Justice Thomas 
Nelson had the first district, but when the controversy about the 
u Steamboat Code" and the location of the State capitol was at its 

32 The Statesman, of date July 11, 1851, published at Oregon City, contains an 
editorial concurring with the sentiment expressed in a letter signed "Willamette" 
published therein, which was laudatory of Judge Pratt. This was drawn forth by 
some resolutions adopted at a public meeting held at Portland, April 1, 1851, called 
to adopt measures to prevent the escape and provide measures for the punishment of 
Jabe McName, a gambler who had killed William Keene in a dispute over a game of 
ten-pins. The resolutions were drawn by a committee of which Col. W. W. Chap- 
man was the moving spirit, and were no doubt greatly biased by the political heat of 
the time, as well as by the personal feelings of some of the persons present at the 
meeting. It was resolved that, "The repeated and almost continual failure of hold- 
ing Courts not only in this, the Second District, but in Oregon generally is highly 
injurious." It was complained that no Court had been held in Washington county 
since the previous spring and no Judge resided in the district to whom application 
could be made for the administration of the laws. 

The Bench and Bar. 325 

height, his district was cut down by the legislature to Clackamas 
county, only. He was a man of rather small stature, mild in man- 
ners, but firm in his opinions, and prompt and accurate in his 
decisions on questions of law. He was thoroughly educated, having 
graduated at Williams college and taken a course of medical lectures 
and spent some time in European travel before adopting the law as 
his profession. 

At this time the administration of justice by the Courts was 
much interfered with by the violent political controversies and 
partisan warfare that divided the judges as well as the body of the 
people. Amory Holbrook, of Portland, the District Attorney of the 
Second District, was absent in the ' c States, ' ' and the Legislature 
essayed to appoint Reuben P. Boise, afterward a resident of Portland, 
in his place, but Chief Justice Nelson refused to recognize the 
authority of the Legislature in that respect and appointed S. B. 
Mayre, also of Portland, to act in that capacity at the Spring Term, 
1852. On the expiration of Judge Pratt's term, in the Autumn of 
that year, C. F. Train was appointed in his stead by the President, 
but he never came to Oregon. 33 

With a change of the administration at Washington, came a change 
in the offices of the Territory of Oregon, and instead of the existing 
judges, Pratt was appointed Chief Justice, with Matthew P. Deady 
and Cyrus Olney as associates. Pratt's name was withdrawn and 
that of George H. Williams was substituted. The new Judges held 
one term of Court, when Deady was removed and Obadiah B. 
McFadden was appointed in his stead, but he was removed to the 
new Territory of Washington almost immediately after, and judge 
Deady was reinstated. 34 His was the Southern Oregon District. 
Williams had that east of the Willamette, and Olney, west of that 
river. Each of these Judges held Court at 'different times at Portland, 

33 Judge Nelson left June, 1853, after two years in Oregon. 

34 It seems that Deady's removal and McFadden's substitution was owing to the 
fact that some political opponents of Deady's caused his commission to be made out 
with the use of a political nickname that had been made use of in some of the news- 
papers, instead of his proper name, and this was the cause for issuing another 
commission to McFadden, but the change, and the reasons for it were so unpopular 
in Oregon that Deady was soon reinstated. 

326 History of Portland. 

for Multnomah County was now organized by the Legislature of 
1854-55, and each of them has been a prominent figure at the 
Bench and Bar of Portland. 

In 1853, the legislature provided for two terms of the Supreme 
Court annually, to be held at Salem on the first Monday of December 
and at Portland on the first Monday of June. The first term of the 
Suprerne Court held by the new Judges was at Portland. Judges 
Deady and Olney repaired thither and opened Court on the 20th day 
of June, 1853. The Clerk, Allan P. Millar, was absent on a trip to 
to the East, and Ralph Wilcox 35 was appointed Clerk until further 
order, and, as the records, books and papers of the Court were not at 
hand, an order signed U C. Olney " and u M. P. Deady, " without 
official designation, was carried by J. W. Nesmith, the Marshal, to 
Allan M. Seymour, the Deputy Clerk under Millar, at Oregon City, 
directing him to turn over the records. The next day the Marshal 
returned without the books and with a report that Seymour refused 
to produce them, whereupon an order of attachment was issued and 
Seymour was brought to Portland in the custody of Nesmith. 
Alexander Campbell filed interrogatories as Prosecuting Attorney, in 
behalf of the Territory, and Amory Holbrook attempted to be heard 
as Counsel for the prisoner, but the Court refused to hear him until 
the books were produced. Seymour said he was willing to deliver 
them to Millar's successor, on receiving a proper receipt upon 
being duly ordered to do so, but as they were in his custody and he 
had been ordered by Millar to take this course, he should decline 
until the proper receipt was tendered him. Seymour was ordered 
confined in the County Jail, and attempted to procure his release 

35 Wilcox was a native of New York, where he graduated in a medical college, 
subsequently removing to Missouri, was married in 1845 and emigrated to Oregon in 
1846. He was a County Judge of Tualitin County in 1847, and afterwards a member 
of the Legislature several terms. After holding the office of Clerk of the Supreme 
Court a short time, he was appointed in 1856 to the office of Register of the U. S. 
Land Office at Oregon City, which office he held until 1858, and was then again 
elected County Judge of Washington County and again a member of the Legislature. 
July 3, 1865, he was appointed Clerk of the U. S. District Court at Portland, a 
position he held until April 18, 1877, when he died by his own hand. He was a 
genial man, a universal favorite with the bar, and though he had some weaknesses, 
he merited his popularity. 

The Bench and Bar. 327 

by habeas corpus, but Oiney, before whom the application for the 
writ had been made in chambers, adjourned the^hearing to the open 
Court, and on the return of the writ ordered him to jail, whereupon 
he agreed to surrender thejrecords and go with the Marshal to the 
place where they were concealed. The Marshal brought the books 
to Court and the whole matter was dropped on Seymour's paying 
the costs, it appearing that he was acting under advice of Millar's 
sureties, and the Court taking into consideration his youth and his 
good intention. A number of appeal cases were heard at this term 
of Court, many being from Portland, as the law business there was 
already assuming importance, and among other business was the 
admission to the Bar of Benjamin Stark, Esq. 36 

After the organization of Multnomah county, with Portland as 
the county seat, law business there increased greatly in volume and 
importance. The growth of the population and the business of the 
place accomplished this result. The first term of the District Court 
there was held by Judge Olney in a wooden building at the corner 
of Front and Salmon streets, known as Nos. 161 and 163 Front 
street, a small and ill-constructed building which was rented of 
Coleman Barrell, until 1867, when the present Court House was 
erected. The term was opened April 16, 1855, though as early as 
the 9th of February previous some confessions of judgment had 
been entered by the clerk in two cases against John M. Breck and 
William Ogden, in favor of Thomas F. Scott and John McCarty 
respectively. The first case called by Judge Olney was the case of 
Thomas V. Smith against William N. Horton; Messrs. Logan and 
Chinn appeared as attorneys for the plaintiff and asked for a non- 
suit, which was granted. The same disposition was made of a num- 

36 The attorneys of the Territorial Supreme Court admitted before that time were : 
December Term, 1851, John B. Preston, David B. Brennan, Simon B. Mayre, A. 
Campbell, Alexander B. Wait, William T. Matlock, Cyrus Olney. K Hamilton, W. 
W. Chapman, J. B. Chapman, Columbia Lancaster. December Term, 1852 : J. G. 
Wilson, Milton Elliott, James McCabe, Reuben P. Boise, G. N. McConaha, J. A. B # 
Wood, David Logan, Addison C. Gibbs, M. P. Deady, A. L. Lovejoy, A. Holbrook, 
B. F. Harding, L. F. Grover, G. K. Shiel, E. M. Barnum, James K. Kelly, R. £. 
Stratton, S. F. Chadwick, L. F. Mosher, C. Sims, M. A. Chinn, Delazon Smith, N. 
Huber. (Vol. 2, Sup. Ct. Records.) 

328 History of Portland. 

ber of other cases, in some of which the same attorneys appeared 
and in others, Campbell & Farrar appeared. On the second day of 
the term defaults were entered in a large number of cases, the attor- 
neys who appeared, besides those already mentioned, being Hamil- 
ton, Stark, McEwan, Wait and Marquam. A jury case was tried, 
William W. Baker, plaintiff, vs. George J. Walters, defendant, the 
verdict being returned in favor of the defendant. At the same 
term a number of cases for retailing spirituous liquors on Sunday 
were disposed of and one case wherein the defendant was accused of 
selling a gun to an Indian. Peter Espelding was admitted to citi- 
zenship. 37 

The first County Court in Multnomah County began its term 
January 17, 1855. G. W. Vaughn was County Judge, and Ainslie 
R. Scott and James Bybee, Commissioners. 38 When the State was 
organized, the first term of the County Court was opened on the 4th 
day of July, 1859, with Hon. E. Hamilton as County Judge. 

In addition to the leading members of the Portland Bar at this 
period, already mentioned, were W. W. Chapman and Amory 
Holbrook. The first of these to come to Portland was W. W. 
Chapman, who still lives, the oldest member of the Bar of the city. 
Frequent mention of him has been made in the preceding pages. Of 
late years he has not been engaged in active practice, but at the 
period of which we now speak he was prominent not only in legal 
affairs but in political as well. At the Bar, he was ever polite and 
dignified, a gentleman of the old school. 

Holbrook, a young man of medium height, fair and good looking, 
came to Oregon in March, 1849, and was at this time in his prime. 
His abilities as an orator were of no mean order and his quick 

37 The first jury in. Multnomah County consisted of J. S. Dickenson, Clark Hay, 
Felix Hicklin, K. A. Peterson, Edward Allbright, Thomas H. Stallard, William L. 
Chittenden, George Hamilton, William Cree, Robert Thompson, William H. Frush, 
Samuel Farnam, William Hall, William Sherlock, W. P. Burke, Jacob Kline, 
Jackson Powell, John Powell. 

38 The following is a list of the Judges of the County Court of the State of 
Oregon for Multnomah County: B. Hamilton, 1858-1862; P. A. Marquam, 1862- 
1870; K. Hamilton, 1871-74 ; J. H. Woodward, 1875-78 ; S. W. Rice, 1879-82 ; Iv. 
B. Stearns, 1883-85 ; J. C. Moreland, 1885-86 ; John Catlin, 1886-90. 

The Bench and Bar. 329 

preception and ready knowledge of law combined to make him one 
of the foremost figures of the times. He was a member of the 
Legislature afterwards and a candidate for United States Senator, 
but his temperment, volatile and variable, led him to habits that 
interferred with the career of more than one of the brilliant lights 
of the Bar in these earlier days of its history. Moreover, he was 
noted for a certain biting humor which gave vent to numerous 
sharp sayings, which, though repeated with enjoyment by those 
who were not the subjects of his caustic sarcasm, made bitter 
enemies of others. His abilities as a lawyer never waned until his 
death at middle age cut him off. 

David Logan was perhaps the greatest jury lawyer of his time. 
Like Holbrook, he had, as a contemporary has remarked, but one 
enemy, and that was himself. He was born in 1824 at Springfield, 
Illinois, and was a son of an eminent lawyer and Judge of the 
Supreme Court of that State. He came to Oregon in 1850, and 
settled in Lafayette but removed to Portland soon after. He was 
defeated as a candidate for the Legislature, in 1851. He served as a 
member in 1854, and ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for Congress 
in 1860 and again in 1868. He was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention. Logan had a large practice and was very popular. He 
was shrewd and sharp-witted and for twenty years held front r;ank 
at the Portland Bar. He was of medium size, light complexion, 
and had curly hair and a light mustache. 

Another lawyer of this period worthy of special mention is 
Alexander Campbell, who was particularly well drilled in the prin- 
ciples of common law. He placed great dependence upon his books, 
carefully preparing his cases, and appearing in Court with an armfull 
of authorities on every occasion. He removed to California, after a 
few years in Oregon, and became a judge of the Supreme Court of 
that State and a leading member of the San Francisco Bar. 

Mark A. Chinn and W. H. Farrar were bright men, and each 
was a partner of Logan for a time. Simon B. May re, a partner of 
Chapman in those days, had a good name. Benjamin Stark was in 
partnership with Hamilton, under the firm name, Hamilton & Stark 
for some time, as has already been mentioned. He was a member of 

330 History of Portland. 

the legislature in 1853 and 1860 and was appointed United States 
Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of E. D. Baker, in 
1861. He was accused of disloyal sentiments and some delay was 
occasioned before he took the oath, but was finally admitted. As 
one of the owners of the townsite and a wealthy man he attained 
some pro minen ce, but for many years has resided in the State of 

P. A. Marquam was also one of the first members of the bar of 
Portland, and served as county judge for some years. Of late years 
he has retired from practice, devoting himself to his private business 
affairs, which he has managed with success. 

Judge Olney made Portland his place of residence, and though a 
somewhat peculiar man he was highly respected and was a modest 
and unasstuning gentleman. He had a noticeable faculty for taking 
up all the circumstances and details of a case and arranging them in 
logical sequence into a persuasive argument. He was a member of 
the State Constitutional Convention, and later he removed to Clatsop 
county, and represented his district in the legislature in 1864. 
Gradually he retired from active legal practice, spending his last days 
quietly upon his farm. George H. Williams and he had been 
Circuit Judges in adjoining circuits in Iowa, where both were 
elected at the first State election of that State in 1847. Olney came 
to Oregon, where he was appointed by President Pierce, Associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court; and Williams, on being likewise 
appointed Chief Justice, followed him a few months after. They 
remained close friends until the death of Olney, and continued on 
the bench together until 1858, when both resigned. 

During this period the Supreme Court, consisting of these two 
judges and Mathew P. Deady, passed upon many intereresting and 
important questions, and by the decisions made in the District Courts 
as well as when the judges sat together as a Supreme Court, the 
practice was settled and many serious questions were set at rest. The 
cases that affedled the town site are elsewhere treated of at length, and 
nothing more need be said here than that at this time and for many 
years afterward some of the most important litigation that engaged 
the attention of the Bench and Bar of Portland arose from this source. 

The Bench and Bar. 331 

One case that might be mentioned arose in Polk County in 1853, 
By writ of habeas corpus a colored man and his wife were brought 
before Judge Williams, and it appeared that they had been brought 
as slaves from Missouri, by Nathaniel Ford, and were being held by 
him as such in Oregon. After careful inquiry the Court decided that 
there could be no slavery in the Territory of Oregon, and that the 
slaves were freed when brought to free soil. 

Many cases arose under the Donation Land Law, and in one of 
them 39 it was decided that an Indian wife of a white man was a 
married woman within the meaning of the Act, and capable of 
holding a half section of land, which decision it may be supposed 
affected not a few of the very early settlers in the Territory. 

On the resignation of Judge Olney, Reuben P. Boise 40 was 
appointed Associate Judge of the Territory, and Judge Williams 
having also resigned, Judges Deady and Boise remained the only 
judges until the admission of the State in 1859. 41 At the election of 
June, 1858, to provide officers for the new State, Matthew P. Deady, 
R. E. Stratton, R. P. Boise and A. E. Wait were elected Judges of 
the Supreme Court, and on the 20th of May, 1859, they met at 
Salem and drew lots for their terms of office. Boise and Stratton 
drew the six year terms and Wait the four year term, the latter 
becoming, by virtue of the Constitution, Chief Justice. Deady 
having in the meantime been appointed by the President, Judge of 
the District Court of the United States for the District of Oregon, 
did not qualify for the State Court, and P. P. Prim, of Jackson 
County was appointed in his stead, and at the election of 1860 was 
continued in office by vote of the people. These judges under the 
constitution were Judges of the Circuit Courts and sat together as a 

39 Randolph vs. Otis, 1 Or. 153. 

40 Boise who lived for some time at Portland has spent most of his life upon the 
bench of the Supreme and Circuit Courts of Oregon, and is at present Circuit Judge 
in the Third District. As a judge he has deserved honor, being recognized as fearless 
and upright, and by reason of his many years of experience, as well as his early 
education, is well fitted for his position. 

41 The following Portland lawyers were members of the Constitutional Convention: 
M. P. Deady, J. K. Kelly, A. L. Lovejoy, Cyrus Olney, John H. Reed, L. F. 
Ofover, Geo. H. Williams, David I^ogan, Reuben P. Boise and E). D. Shattuck. 

332 History of Portland. 

Supreme Court at stated intervals. 42 Of these, Wait represented the 
Fourth District, which included Multnomah County. He resigned 
in 1862 to run for Congress, but was defeated and settled down to 
the practice of his profession at Portland, and in the meantime 
William W. Page was appointed judge and held Court from May to 
September, 1862. In the election of that year, E. D. Shattuck was 
elected over Page, who was a candidate, and in the same year Joseph 
G. Wilson was appointed to the newly created Fifth District, 43 and the 
Court as thus constituted continued until 1867 without change in 
its personel. 

Soon after the creation of the State, provision was made by 
Congress for extending the judicial system of the United States over 
Oregon. A District Court was provided for, and Matthew P. Deady 
was appointed judge, 44 a position which he has since filled with 
dignity, until now, with the exception of one or two, he has been 
longer upon that bench than any of the Federal Judges of the United 

J. K. Kelly was appointed District Attorney for the United 
States, 45 and Walter Forward, of Marion County, was appointed 

The first term of this Court was opened at No. 63 Front street, 
near Stark, on the third floor of the building, in 1859, and for many 
years the government afforded no better quarters for it, although the 

^ By the Act of June 3, 1859, a term of the Supreme Court was directed to be held 
at the Seat of Government on the first Monday of December following, and there- 
after at the Seat of Government, on the second Monday in December, and at Portland 
on the second Monday in July annually. By Act of October 17, 1862, one term was 
ordered to be held at the Seat of Government annually on the first Monday of Sep- 
temper. This was again changed in 1872, 1878, 1880 and 1889, no provision being 
made for holding Court at Portland, but the Act of 1889 providing for one term each 
year at Pendleton. 

43 Act approved October 11, 1862, entitled ' 'An Act to create the Fifth Judicial 
District, and increase the number of Justices of the Supreme Court." 

44 His commission was dated March 9, 1859. 

45 The District Attorneys of the United States have been— J. C. Cartwright, 1868- 
71; Addison C. Gibbs, 1872-73; Rufus Mallory, 1874-82; J. F. Watson, 1882-86; L. 
L. McArthur, 1886-90. Clerks— Hamilton Boyd, 1863-65; Ralph Wilcox, 1865-77; 
Edward N. Deady (pro tern) 1877; R. H. Lamson, 1877. 

The Bench and Bar. 333 

place was poorly adapted for its purpose. In 1871 the present 
government building was completed and the Federal Courts were 
assigned commodious and convenient quarters. 

During the years that have followed the organization of this 
Court, the strong individuality of Judge Deady has made him a 
prominent and central figure in the history of the city. The events 
of his life are elsewhere related, and it is sufficient in this connection 
to repeat that his indefatigable industry and his retentive memory, 
together with his many years of experience in a Court whose broad 
jurisdiction embraces many of the most important cases litigated in 
the Northwest, and every variety of criminal and maritime cases, 
as well as actions at law and suits in equity, have combined to form 
the solid basis for an eminence that ambitious lawyers may strive for, 
but few attain. His personal appearance, always noticeable, is 
dignified and impressive when he is upon the bench, and the business 
of his Court is conducted with decorum and a due regard for the 
proper ceremonies of a court of law. Judge Lorenzo D. Sawyer, 
whose home is at San Francisco, has been Circuit Judge of the Ninth 
Judicial District, which includes Oregon, since 1873, and when 
business demands it, sits with Judge Deady on the bench of the 
Circuit Court at Portland. He is a careful and painstaking man, 
and an able and impartial judge. Asssociate Justice Stephen J. 
Field, of the Supreme Court of the United States also sits in the 
Circuit Court at Portland when business requires it, and Judge 
George M. Sabin, of the Nevada District, has relieved Judge Deady 
during a temporary absence of the latter from Oregon. 

The attorneys already noticed as prominent at Portland before 
the admission of the State generally retained their position in this 
respect during the decade following. This period was noted for the 
brilliancy and ability of the bar. Judge Strong came up from his 
farm at Cathlamet in the winter of 1861-62, and soon secured a 
lucrative practice and a foremost station among the Portland lawyers. 
He became the regular counsel for the Oregon Steam Navigation 
Company, the richest and most powerful of corporations, and in 
criminal and civil actions he, with Logan and Holbrook, and 
afterward Geo. H. Williams, Shattuck, Reed, Stout, Gibbs, Grover, 

334 History of Portland. 

Page, Wait and Kelly were perhaps the most prominent at that time. 
Mitchell and Dolph went into partnership in 1864 and by 1870 
they too, were in the lead, while others had long since dropped out 
of the race. 

In 1863 there were twenty-one lawyers in the city; five years 
after, the number had increased to forty-one. The population was 
growing rapidly, the census of 1865 showing 5,819 inhabitants, an 
increase of over a thousand in one year. Law business, particularly 
concerning land titles, was flourishing. 

The County Court was presided over by P. A. Marquam for 
many years until 1870, when he was succeeded by Edward Hamilton; 
and Judge Shattuck of the Circuit Court gave place to W. W. Upton, 
who was elected in 1868 and served until September 1874. Hamilton 
had .been in partnership for a time with H. C. Coulson, who was 
afterwards elected Clerk of Multnomah County and gave satisfaction 
in that office, as he was a genial fellow and a well trained lawyer. 

Smith, Grover and Page were in partnership early in the sixties 
but J. S. Smith dropped out and Grover and Page continued together 
until Grover was elected governor in 1870. Logan was in partner- 
ship with Farrar, then with Friedenrich, who afterwards was city 
attorney for a short time ; then after remaining alone for some time, 
went into partnership with Shattuck in 1868, and they soon after 
added Killen to the ftim, and in 1871, Logan himself dropped out. 
Holbrook formed no partnerships. W. Lair Hill and Marion F. 
Mulkey formed a partnership in 1865 and were together a short time; 
Hill afterwards united with C. A. Ball as Hill & Ball, and in 1872 
with W. W. Thayer 46 and R. Williams as Hill, Thayer & Williams. 
Stout and Larrabee and Larrabee, Stout & Upton, were quite prom- 
inent. Stout, an excellent lawyer and a consummate leader among 
men, acquired a large practice. A. E. Wait and J. K. Kelly were 
considered very able men and remained together as Wait & Kelly for 
some time. 

The arrival of Ben Holladay in Oregon in 1868 marks the 
beginning of a new era in the history of the Bar of Portland. The 
railroad projects of the earlier part of the year were languishing and 

4 5 See sketch of his life, in biographical portion of this volume. 

^f-hyF.GXernan& C'.NY- 

> v~. vL^L^^^l^kL^^^^^^^(^ 

The Bench and Bar. 335 

by dint of the free use of men and money, Holladay soon had 
control of the Oregon and California, and the Oregon Central roads. 
Mitchell & Dolph became the attorneys to represent his vast interests 
in the State. They were young men of ability and enterprise and 
well able to manage any business confided to them, and in a 
remarkably short time acquired a large practice representing the 
corporations and heavy commercial trade. When in 1876 this 
Holladay management of the railroads came to an end and the 
German bondholders took possession of them, Villard was put in 
charge and the firm of Mitchell & Dolph was continued as the 
attorneys. In 1877, the Oregon Steam Navigation Company was 
absorbed by the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company and Mitchell 
& Dolph became its attorneys, Strong practically retiring from 
business at this time, though his business has since been successfully 
carried on by his sons Thomas N. and Fred. R. Strong, who were 
for some time associated with him under the name Wm. Strong 
& Sons. From the inception of the railroad enterprises in 1867, 
the railroads furnished a great deal of important business for the 
attorneys, both in and out of court, and other corporation busi- 
ness has grown in volume and importance. 

Early in the seventies, other firms grew into prominence. J. W. 
Whalley and M. W. Fechheimer, as Whalley & Fechheimer, succeeded 
to a large commercial business, particularly in connection with the 
United States bankrupt law. W. H. Effinger, an elegant and eloquent 
orator, and Richard Williams, who had lately removed from Salem, 
won a large damage suit at The Dalles against the O. S. N. Co. , and 
subsequently each acquired a large and lucrative practice. Effinger 
gave little attention to business after a few years of success, and finally 
in 1887 removed to Tacoma. Williams, on the other hand, associ- 
ated with Thayer as Thayer & Williams for many years, and later 
of the firm of Williams & Willis and R. & E. B. Williams, ha s 
developed with his years and still holds the full measure of the honor 
and success his earlier practice foreshadowed. John Catlin, E. A. 
Cronin, Raleigh Stott, men differing in character, were all successful. 
When Mitchell was elected senator in 1872, the firm Dolph, Bronaugh, 
Dolph & Simon, was organized as successors to Mitchell & Dolph, 


336 History of Portland. 

consisting of J. N. Dolph, Earl C. Bronaugh, C. A. Dolph and 
Joseph Simon. Among the younger men of ability of this period, 
and who still sustain the reputation they gained at this time are Geo. 
H. Durham, H. H. Northup, H. Y. Thompson, W. B. Gilbert and 
H. T. Bingham. Hill, Durham & Thompson were together for a 
time and then Williams, Hill, Durham, Thompson & Mays organized 
as a firm, with a firm name only equalled in length by the firm of 
later times consisting of Stott, Waldo, Smith, Stott & Boise. 
Ivength of firm name seems to have been popular with the Portland 
bar, as is illustrated in the modern cases of Dolph, Bellinger, 
Mallory & Si:non, andWhalley, Bronaugh, Northup & Deady, and 
Mitchell, McDougall, Tanner & Bower. Caples & Mulkey and 
Northup & Gilbert were two well known firms for many years, until 
the one was dissolved by the death of Mulkey and other by mutual 
consent. Bellinger was associated with Burmester for some time, 
and, after serving a time upon the bench as Circuit Judge, succeed- 
ing Shattuck in September, 1878, he united with Gearin as Bellinger 
& Gearin and later joined the firm mentioned above, while Gearin 
and Gilbert formed a new firm. Killen & Moreland in 1882, 
Mitchell & Dement, Adams & Welty, and McDougall & Bower in 
the same year, and later Watson, Hume & Watson, Woodward & 
Woodward, Smith, Cox & Teal, Johnson, McCown & Idleman, are 
among the notable associations. Besides these there are many of 
equal prominence who have either formed no partnerships or are 
better known aside from their affiliations of that kind, a separate 
enumeration of whom would extend this chapter far beyond its pre- 
scribed bounds. No attempt has been made in referring to those we 
have mentioned to choose between men, or to make any invidious 
selections, but our aim has been briefly to notice in a general way the 
groups into which the bar has divided itself from time to time. The 
whole number of lawyers at the Portland bar in 1889, was 122. 

Judge E. D. Shattuck, of the State Circuit Court was succeeded 
by Judge W. W. Upton, in 1868. He held the office until in turn 
succeeded by Judge Shattuck in 1874, who retired 1878. In that 
year the Legislature reorganized the judicial system of the State by 
providing for the election of the Judges of the Supreme Court and 

The Bench and Bar. 337 

Circuit Courts in separate classes, and in accordance with the 
provisions of the Act, the Governor appointed three Judges of the 
Supreme Court, one of whom, J. K. Kelly, was from Portland, and 
another, R. P. Boise, had formerly resided there, the third was P. P. 
Prim, of Jacksonville. C. B. Bellinger was appointed to succeed 
Shattuck in the Fourth Circuit. The Circuit Judges now had no 
connection with the Supreme Court and could devote their attention 
to the business in their circuits, which, particularly in Judge 
Bellinger's district, had grown to such proportions as to tax the 
capacity of a single judge for work. The Fourth District included 
the counties of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Columbia and 
Clatsop; a different arrangement was made in the year 1882, by 
which Multnomah itself constituted the Fourth District. Bellinger 
was an able judge, and gave universal satisfaction. He was prompt 
and attentive to business and quick to perceive and apprehend. 
When he retired in 1880 he had an established reputation for legal 
ability that soon brought about him his old clients with many new 
ones, so that he has had a growing prosperity and has maintained a 
foremost position at the bar. Raleigh Stott, who had been District 
Attorney, succeeded him as judge. He, too, proved a man of ability 
and an honorable and upright judicial officer. The growth of the 
community and the increasing business of the Court, kept him 
constantly occupied, while the meager salary of the office illy 
compensated for its exactions. He resigned in 1884, and the 
members of the bar presented him with a handsome testimonial of 
their appreciation of his merits. On the petition of the bar, Seneca 
Smith was appointed in his stead, and held the office for the 
remainder of the term, to 1886. He at once adopted new rules for 
the purposes of expediting business, and devoted unremitting efforts 
to prevent the accumulation of cases. The Legislature of 1885 
relieved him by dividing the Court into two departments and 
providing for the election of another Circuit Judge in the district. 
Judge Iyoyal B. Stearns, of the County Court, was appointed to the 
office until the regular election, and Julius C. Moreland to the 
vacancy thus created in the County Court. At the election of 1886, 
Stearns and Shattuck were chosen for the full term of six years as 

338 History of Portland. 

Circuit Judges, and John Catlin for the term of four years, as County 
Judge. Of their conduct in these offices, nothing more need be said 
than that they have faithfully and earnestly devoted themselves to 
their work, and have fully sustained their honorable reputations 
previously earned, which led to their selection for the important 

Without commenting upon individual cases of public interest and 
of historic importance that have come before the Portland Courts for 
trial, it may be said that as trade and population have developed, 
itigation of all kinds has increased and Portland have furnished 
lnearly one half of the business of the Supreme Court of the State 
and the greater part of that in the United States Courts. The cases 
of the United States against Randall, postmaster of . Portland, was 
watched with interest by Portland people and the public took sides 
for or against the defendant, who was accused of embezzlement. He 
was finally convicted, but still his friends were confident that he was 
innocent and he was at once given a prominent position of trust in 
the office of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, which he held 
for some years. Pending trial, and long after, the newspapers were 
full of the case, and excitement ran high. Strong and L,ogan, who 
were pitted against each other in this case, had a spicy newspaper 
correspondence afterwards; Strong still .declaring the innocence of 
his client, and Logan insisting that he was guilty. The latter 
quieted his opponent with his last contribution by his sarcastic 
reference to the feelings that must rankle in his breast at the thought 
that the innocent client he defended was suffering the pains of 
conviction. * 

Another criminal case that was watched with unusal interest, 
was the cases against Archie Brown, James Johnson and Joseph 
Swards, who, on the 23d of August 1878, entered the pawnshop of 
one O'Shea, locked the door behind them, knocked O' Shea senseless, 
and took from his safe, near where O'Shea was assaulted, some 
articles of value. They were seen leaving the shop, and being 
closely pursued by a constable, stopped and Brown fired at him but 
missed him and killed a boy, Louis Joseph. They then leaped into 

Thk Bench and Bar. 339 

a wagon standing near by. and made their escape, but were finally 
taken, tried and convicted of murder in the first degree, after an 
exciting trial, and were finally executed. 

The most remarkable litigation, however, is the series of cases 
known as the Holladay cases. Ben Holladay, whose name appears 
more than once in these pages, was the prince of borrowers, and 
among other creditors for large sums, was his brother Joseph. The two 
men were as unlike in appearance and character as though they 
were of different ancestors; Ben being a high liver, a spend- thrift, a 
man of gigantic schemes and boundless ambition, who scattered his 
own money and the money of every one on which he could lay 
hands broadcast in support of his extravagant habits and his 
numerous projects; Joseph, on the other hand, made money by saving 
it and accumulating interest. He had no projects, no enterprises, no 
ambitions. He was crafty, stubborn and full of prejudices. As 
early as 1873, Ben began to make conveyances of property in Oregon 
to Joe to secure him for money borrowed from time to time, and in 
1876, when Ben removed from Oregon to Washington City, Joe, by 
assignments of stock and deeds of real estate absolute upon their 
face, but which were intended as mortgages, had title to all that 
Ben possessed. Ben came back from Washington in 1884 and 
demanded his property from Joe, professing to be ready to pay his 
claim. Joe then set up a claim that he was the real owner of the 
property; that the conveyances to him were absolute, and not 
intended as mortgages. Ben began suit to have the conveyances 
declared mortgages, and to redeem the property. The litigation 
lasted three years, and the result was that the conveyances were 
declared mortgages, and the amount of Joe's claim against the prop- 
erty was fixed at $315,000. In the meantime, Ben's other creditors 
had begun suit to have the conveyances to Joe set aside as being in 
fraud of their rights. During the litigation between Ben and Joe 
the property had been put into the hands of a receiver. After the 
decree was made in the Supreme Court, fixing the amount of Joe's 
lien against the property, and ordering that the property be sold to 
pay it, Ben and Joe made an agreement subject to ratification by the 
principal creditors, by which it was stipulated that Joe would post- 

340 History of Portland. 

pone the enforcement of his decree for three years, and as part of his 
agreement with Ben, he released from his lien and turned over to a 
trustee, for a number of pressing creditors, the stock of the Oregon 
Real Estate Company; and George W. Weidler, as such trustee, 
assumed charge of the property for the benefit of those creditors. 
In consideration of this it was further stipulated that Joe's lien 
should be increased to $340,000, on account of some claims which 
the Supreme Court had allowed. It was also stipulated that Joe and 
Geo. W. Weidler should be made receivers of the property in place 
of D. P. Thompson, who had previously been acting as such, and 
they were appointed accordingly. The stock of the Oregon Real 
Estate Company, which comprised the Holladay Addition to East 
Portland, was sold and paid off a great many of Ben Holladay' s 
debts, all in fact known to be in existence at the time the property 
was released by Joe, and including lawyers' fees amounting to 
considerably over $100,000. The agreement extending the time 
before enforcement of the decree to three years also provided that 
Ben might redeem the several portions of the property before the 
expiration of that time upon paying off stated portions of the debt in 
accordance with an agreed schedule, and this was done with a 
portion of the property, by selling it and applying the price on the 
debt. Ben died on the 8th day of July, 1887, leaving a will dated 
in 1875, by which Joe was nominated as one of his executors, and 
he being the only one named residing in the State and qualified to 
act, was accordingly appointed by the .County Court. A case 
involving Joe's right to act in this capacity went to the Supreme 
Court and was decided in his favor. There were many creditors 
insisting upon payment of their claims, but the property was 
steadily advancing in value and no attempt was made to redeem the 
property. As the period for redemption drew to a close Joe was 
removed from the executorship, and James Steel was appointed 
administrator of the estate. This was also appealed to the Supreme 
Court and affirmed. Esther Holladay, the wife of Ben, died soon 
after him, leaving a will under which Rufus Ingalls was appointed 
executor, and also providing for his appointment as guardian of her 
children, but though he qualified for both trusts, he was subsequently 


The Bench and Bar. 341 

removed from the guardianship on the ground that the law of 
Oregon did not permit the appointment of a testamentary guardian 
by a mother. Another guardian was appointed by the Court. On 
the expiration of the three years, Joe ordered an execution out, but 
recalled it before the sale. Upon a showing made to the Circuit 
Court, an order then was made requiring the receivers to join with 
the administrator of Ben's estate in making a sale of the 
mortgaged property, the County Court having already directed the 
administrator to take that step. The attempt proved abortive, 
however, as Joe refused to sign the notice of sale. After fruitless 
attempts to obtain his acquiescence and co-operation, a warrant was 
issued for his arrest for contempt and he was brought to Portland, 
in charge of an officer, from the seaside where he had been 
sojourning, but he escaped and fled to Washington and then to 
British Columbia. He finally returned and by agreement and 
consent of the Court a nominal fine was imposed upon him and he 
caused execution to issue upon his decree, and the property was 
finally sold at sheriff's sale. The result was that Joe was paid, 
principal and interest, in December, 1889, after five years of 
expensive litigation, and a large amount of money and property was 
left in the hands of the administrator for the benefit of the creditors 
of the estate. Meantime, innumerable suits by creditors and others 
had been instituted, and the dockets of all the Courts have been 
crowded with cases connected in some way with the Holladay 
property. A fortune has been spent in attorneys 7 fees and Court 
expenses, and the end is not yet. 

Another famous controversy in the courts was known as the 
Goose Hollow War in the newspapers, and involved a disputed boun- 
dary line between two Irish families. The case assumed a great 
importance because of the litigious inclinations of the parties, which 
manifested itself in suits and counter-suits both civil and criminal, 
until the whole city was familiar with the case. The Hollands, 
Patrick and Margeret, who were parties to those suits have, since 
the boundary line was settled, found other subjects for litigation 
and have in one case or another, employed nearly every attorney in 

342 History of Portland. 

History is best written from a distant standpoint. The perspective 
afforded by the lapse of years, makes it possible to view men and 
events objectively and to avoid many of the difficulties of describing 
the affairs of our own times. But, in general, it may be said that 
the present generation at the Bench and Bar at Portland, compares 
favorably with the lawyers of other cities of the Union. 

In point of morals, notwithstanding the city has long been the 
representative city of the far Northwest, it is remarkable how few of 
the lawyers have failed to maintain the high standard of the 
profession; and while it is true, perhaps, that the average western 
lawyer is less profound and not so much inclined to theoretic analysis 
and to nice discriminations as those of older cities, yet for ready 
perception of the points in issue in their cases, they are second to 
none. A feeling of good fellowship prevails — the young beginner 
and the new comer find cordial welcome. The contests of the Court 
room, however warm or acrimonious, are forgotten when over. 

The relations of the Bench with the Bar have moreover always 
been most friendly and pleasant. 

The following is a list of attorneys who have practiced at the 
Portland Bar:' . 

V. S. Anderson, J. E. Atwater, Henry Ach, W. H. Adams, G.G. Ames, G. W. 
Allen, E. M. Atkinson, C. Beal, Patrick Bull, Robt. E. Bybee, E. C. Bradshaw, B. C. 
Bronaugh, Octavius Bell, C. B. Bellinger, T. Burmester, C. A. Ball, H. T. Bingham, 
C. Buchanan, J. J. Browne, R. A. Bingham, W. S. Beebe, J. M. Blossom, Jr., J. Bow- 
er, W. T. Burney, J. V. Beach, J. Bentgen, J. J. Ballery, B. W. Bingham, George A. 
Brodie, J. Bourne Jr, J. Baldwin, Alex. Bernstein, h. Burton, C. R. Barry, A. S. Bennett, 
W. L. Boise, George A. C. Brady, P. J. Baunon, J. S. Beall, J. F. Boothe, B. B.Bukman, 
M. Iy. Bergman, Clarence Cole, H. A. Copeland, W. W. Cotton, W, W. Chapman, 
J. Catlin, J. G. Chapman, B. A. Cronin, C. M. Carter, J. F. Caples, Geo. B. Cole, 
Jno. C. Cartwright, John Creighton, Arthur Chrisfield, F. Clarno, B. I. Cohen, Jas. 

A. Campbell, P. O. Chilstrom, R. D. Coy, C.J.Curtis, Chas. H. Carey, C. H. Carter, 
M. R. Chambers, W. H. Chaney, W. H. Clagett, H, M. Cake, F. D. Chamberlain, 
Raphael Citron, A. R. Coleman, S. W. Condon, L. B. Cox, G. T. Cromer, Wm. M. 
Cake, Alex. I,. Campbell, J. N. Dolph, Cyrus A. Dolph, G. H. Durham, O. N. Denny, 
W. Dodge, H. C. Dray, Sidney Dell, B. F. Dennison, R. M. Dement, J. Danziger, W. 

B. Daniels, F. V. Drake, B. N. Deady, Paul R. Deady, B. J. Dahms, O. B. Doud, C. R. 
Darling, B. F. Dowell, J. Frank Davis, John Ditchburn, D. M. Donaugh, V. DePui, 
James M. Davis, A. C. Deupree, M. Blliott, D. M. Bdmunds, W. H. Bffinger, W. I,. 
Bvans, W. M. Bvans, A. C. Emmons, R. W. Emmons, R. I. Baton, H. H. Emmons, 
W. W. S. Bberle, W. H. Farrar, David Fredenrich, M. W. Fecheimer, A. French, 

The Bench and Bar. 343 

M. C. Fitzgibbons, A. S. Frank, William Foley, A. L. Frazer, Wm. D. Fenton, 
J. C. Flanders, L. F. Grover, A. C. Gibbs, T. J. Geisler, H. A. Gehr, James Guthrie, 
C. A. Gardner, Jos. Gaston, J. Garwood, D. Goodsell, W. C. Gaston, W. B. Gilbert, 
G. W. Gardiner, John M. Gearin, M. C. George, W. M. Gregory, James Gleason, 
Thos. Gordon, Hudson Grant, S. H. Green, J. F. Grey, W. W. Gibbs, J. A. Gill, 
R. R. Giltner, Jos. S. Gage,H. W. Hogue, G. F. Holman, E. Hamilton, E. W. Hod- 
gkinson, Amory Holbrook, J. J. Hoffman, W. Lair Hill, R. F. Hensill, D. B. 
Hannah, J. J. Henderson, S. Heulat, O. Humason, Ellis G. Hughes, L. Holmes, W. 
H. Higby, Enoch Howe, E. D. Ham, F. V. Holman, E. T. Howes, C. F. Hyde, C. H. 
Hewitt, M. B. Harrison, V. R. Hyde, C. P. Heald, S. R. Harrington, C. R. Holcomb, 
W. T. Hume, John Hall, F. M. Ish, C. M. Idleman, H. D. Johnson, J. W. Johnson, 
Dewitt C Jones, W. F. Jones, W. C. Johnson, T. E. Johnston, Henry Jacobs, S. A. 
Johns, Ira Jones, F. B. Jolly, J. K. Kelly, B. Killen, Peter G. Koch, C. M. Kincaid, 
Fred. L. Keenan, D. P. Kennedy, W. W. Knott, A. T. Lewis, C. E. Lockwood, Geo. 
W. Lawson, D. Logan, D. W. Lichenthaler, C. H. Larabee, A. J. Lawrence, Lafay- 
ette Lane, A. L. L ovejoy, C. Lancaster, M. O. Lownsdale, Geo. W.Lawson, A. Lenhart, 
S. B. Linthicum, W. M. Locke, A. W. Llewelyn, Mary A. Leonard, H. J. Moses, 
P. A. Marquam, W. L. McEwan, E. W. McGraw, J. H. Mitchell, M. F. Mulkey, 
L. F. Mosher, J. F. McCoy, S. A. Moreland, O. P. Mason, A. J. Moses, F. O. 
y M;cCown, I. A. Macrum, Rufus Mallory, E. Mendenhall, J. C. Moreland, C. J. 
M^cDougal, F. Metzgar, C. F. McCormac, H. E. McGiun, E. W. Morrison, Pierce 
Hays, Wirt Minor, R. L. McKee, E. H. Merrill, M. C. Munley, Wm. H. Merrick, W. 
Y. ;Masters, E. J. Mendenhall, Newton McCoy, Frank P. McMullen, U. S. G. Mar- 
qdrni, R. G. Morrow, Wallace Mount, J. C McCaffrey, R. D. Murphy, C. W. Miller, 
J. T. Mijner, W. T. Muir, G. G. McGinn, H. H. Northup, B. L. Norden, W. S. New- 
bu> y, H. B. Nicholas, James S. Negley, W. L. Nutting, James L. Onderdonk, Thos. 
O' Bay, E. L. Peet, Harold Pilkington, W. W. Page, Chas. Parrish, P. D. Parks, S. 
Peiinoyer, T. W. Pittenger, C. A. Petrain, O. F. Paxton, A. Paffenberger, J. N. Pearcy. 
J. M. Pi'tenger, J. W. Paddock, L. L. Porter, J. H. Reed, E. F. Russell, S. W. Rice, 
J. W. Robb, G. E. Robinson, J. H. Roberts, J. C. S. Richardson, B. Y. Roe, San- 
derson Reed, J. S. Smith, Eugene Semple, W. P. Scott, Alex Sweek, Wm. 
Strong, George V. Smith, Alanson Smith, J. H. Stinson, L. O. Stearns, H. C. Small, 
E. D. Shattuck, J. W. Stevens, Thos. Smith, P. C. Sullivan, Walter V. Smith, Raleigh 
Stott, Joseph Simon, Fred. R. Strong, T. V. Shoup, Syl. C. Simpson, T. N. Strong, 
Loyal B. Stearns, H. Suksdorf, J. R. Stoddard, A. F. Sears, Jr., Seneca Smith, V. K. 
Strode, L. Scott, X. N. Steeves, Milton W. Smith, T. J. Smith, T. A. Stephens, J. B. 
Scott, Geo. W. Sproule, S. R. Stott, EJ.Searle, F." A.E.Starr, J.Silverstone, N.D.Simon, 
Zara Snow,Wm.E. Showers, James Summers, Sidney Smith, W. F. Trimble, W.W.Thay- 
er, H. Y. Thompson, A. H. Townsend, Albert H. Tanner, David Turner, — Todd, Alfred 
Thompson, J. N. Teal, W. E. Thomas, J. B. Thompson, R. H. Thornton, G. H. 
Thurston, Cornelius Taylor, Claude Thayer, W. W. Upton, James Upton, C. B. Upton, 
J. S. M. VanCleve, George H. Williams, A. E. Wait, Leopold Wolff, James A. Way- 
mire, J. W. Whalley, Charles Warren, John C. Work, John B. Waldo, M. S. Whest, R. 
Williams, J. H. Woodward, C. H. Woodward, D. W. Welty, Thornton Williams, P. 
L. Willis, C. B. Watson, J. R. Wheat, E. B. Watson, A. J. Welch, L. H. Wheeler, T. 
Brook White, C. E. S. Wood, John K. Wait, J. F. Watson, J. D. Wilcox, E. B. 
Williams, George L. Woods, Henry Wagner, T. H. Ward, G, W. Yocum G. D. Young. 

344 History of Portland. 



Methodist, Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Jewish, 
Unitarian, Lutheran, German Reformed and Christian Churches — Ladies' Relief 
Society — Childrens' Home — German Benevolent Association — Boys and Girls Aid 
Society — City Board of Charities — Portland Woman's Union — Kindergarten Associa- 
tion — Oregon Humane Society — Portland Seaman's Friend Society — St. Vincent's 
Hospital— Good Samaritan Hospital — Portland Hospital. 

THE advent of religious teachers in this portion of the West had 
an important bearing upon its history and destiny. Those of 
the Protestant faith became prominent factors in securing American 
settlement and occupation of the country which resulted in the 
acquisition of the Territory of Oregon to the United States. The 
part they bore in the long struggle for possession of this great 
domain — an empire within itself — has been treated of in preceding 
pages and needs here no further elaboration. They came at first 
solely moved by religious motives, but the conditions that surrounded 
them induced them to play a part of the utmost consequence to their 
country. Their purely religious mission became in the progress <6f 
events a semi-political one — a departure entirely excusable on flie 
ground of patriotism, good morals and common sense. 

No organized effort was made to christianize the Indians of the 
Columbia, until several years after the country had been visited by 
-American explorers. It was not until 1832 that the missionary 
societies of the East concluded to send religious teachers aniong the 
Aborigines of the Pacific Slope. The matter was then taken hold 
of by the Methodist Board of Missions and the American Board of 
Commissioners of Foreign Missions, a society supported by the 
Congregational, Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed denominations. 
The Methodists were the first to take the field. Rev. Jason L,ee was 
given direction of the work, and associated with him were Rev. 
Daniel Lee, Cyrus Shepard and P. L. Edwards. This missionary party 
arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1834, and established a mission 
station ten miles below the present city of Salem. Somewhat briefly 

Churches. 345 

has been traced the progress of this pioneer band of religious workers 
in preceding pages of this volume. They laid the foundation of 
Methodism in Oregon and the growth of this denomination from 
that time to the present forms an interesting theme, but the province 
of this work precludes a proper treatment of the subject. 

When the first Methodist Church was organized in • Portland in 
1848 there were only ten Methodist ministers in Oregon. Rev. J. H. 
Wilbur was the first pastor, and during his pastorate a church building 
was erected in 1850. It was a plain but roomy frame building, with 
its gable fronting on Taylor street near Third, and became known as 
the Taylor Street Church. In 1869, the present brick church, costing 
$35,000, on the corner of Third and Taylor, was erected. 

The Taylor Street Church is the strongest, both in members and 
means, among the Methodist churches in Oregon. It has over 500 
members and is the largest contributor to benevolent objects and 
mission work in the Oregon conference. The following ministers have 
served this church from the beginning of its history to the present time 
J. H. Wilbur, 1848-9; J. L. Parrish, 1849-50; J. H.Wilbur, 1850-1 
C. S. Kingsley, 1851-52; H. K. Hines, 1853; P. G. Buchanan, 1854 
Wm. Roberts, 1855-6; D. Rutledge, 1857; W. S. Lewis, 1858-9 
I. Dillon, 1860-1; D. Rutledge, 1862-4; B. C. Uppincott, 1865; 
C. C. Stratton, 1866-7; J. H. White, 1868; Wm. Roberts, 1869- 
70; Geo. W. Izer, 1871-3; Robert Bentley, 1874-5; C. V. Anthony, 
1876-7; J. H. Acton, 1878-80; Geo. W. Izer, 1881-83; G. W. 
Chandler, 1884-5; W. M. Mullinix, 1886; J. W. Alderman, 1886. 
The present pastor, Rev. Alfred Kummer, came in September, 1887. 

St. Paul's M. E. Church was organized in 1869. The first pastor 
was Rev. A. C. Fairchild. The house of worship used by the con- 
gregation of this church is located on the corner of Hall and Sixth 
streets. The present membership is one hundred and twenty. The 
pastors who have officiated in this church in order of service have 
been: A. C. Fairchild, Wm. Roberts, T. F. Royal, W. C. Chatlin, 
John F. Flynn, M. Judy, H. K. Hines, G. M. Pierce, J. W. Klepper 
and the present pastor, C. E. Cline. 

The Centenary M. E. Church of East Portland, was organized 
in 1867 and has a membership of two hundred and thirty-eight 

346 History of Portland. 

persons. The first pastor was Rev. J. N. Dennison. Rev. J. W. 
Bushong is the present pastor. The church building is located on 
the corner of Ninth iand J streets. 

Grace M. E. Church was organized in April, 1884, at which time 
several member withdrew from the Taylor street church to perfe6l the 
organization. Rev. E. W. Caswell was assigned to the new scciety^ 
under whose labors a neat chapel was built at the corner of Eleventh 
and Taylor streets. The society grew rapidly and soon numbered 
among its members many of the most prominent citizens of Portland. 
The quarters first eredled soon became too small for the large congre- 
gations which gathered at the chapel, and the eredlion of the present 
beautiful church edifice on the corner of Tenth and Taylor streets 
was begun. This building was completed at a cost of $55,000 and 
dedicated on December 15, 1889. It has a seating capacity of 780. 
In general architecture the style is colonial. The main tower is 
principally of stone. The entrance is of the same material in form 
of an arch and is an impressive and pleasing piece of work. While 
the supers tru6lure is of wood, the general finish and appearance is 
such as to give the impression of a stone building throughout. 

Rev. Ross C. Houghton, D. D., the present pastor, succeeded 
Mr. Caswell in October, 1887. He has passed many years in the 
ministry; has traveled extensively, and is a popular author. His 
ministration has given great satisfaction to the congregation. 
Although this church has had an existence of only a little more than 
five years it stands third in number of members in the Oregon 
conference, and is regarded as a most desirable appointment. 

The German M. E. Church was organized in 1880. A church 
edifice has since been erected at the corner of North Eighth and D 
streets where services are conducted in the German language. Rev. 
Frederick Bohn was the first pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. J. 
C. Sinclair. Rev. Frederick Bohn again became pastor in 1885, 
serving until 1888, when Rev. George Hartung, the present pastor, 
succeeded him. 

The Norwegian-Danish M. E. Church was organized in Novem- 
ber, 1882, by Rev. C. J. Earsen with fifteen members. At that 
time meetings were held in a chapel on Third street. Great interest 

Churches. 347 

was awakened by these services and but a short time elapsed until a 
lot was purchased by the congregation on the corner of Twelfth and 
D street, where a neat and commodious church has since been erected. 
Rev. C. J. Larson still officiates as pastor. 

The Methodists have been foremost in the establishment of 
mission branches of this denomination in the vicinity of Portland 
during recent years. 

The East Portland M. E. Church, organized in October, 1887, 
with a new house of worship on the corner of Tenth and Adams 
streets, dedicated in February, 1890, is the outgrowth of their work 
in this direction. The Albina M. E. Church, corner of Russell and 
Kirby street is also of recent growth. Both of these churches are 
presided over by Rev. G. M. Pierce, under whom they are enjoying 
great prosperity. For several years a Chinese mission has been 
sustained, of which Rev. Andrew J. Hanson is superintendent. 

The Zion M. E. Church corner of Main and Eleventh streets, 
was built in 1881, and is a house of worship for the Africans of 
Portland. At present no regular pastor is stationed over this congre- 
gation and services are only occasionally held. 

In membership the Methodists outnumber any other religious 
denomination in Portland except the Catholics. At the Annual 
State Conference of 1889, the number of members belonging to 
the Taylor Street, St. Paul's and Grace churches of Portland; the 
Centenary and Adam's Street churches, of East Portlnnd, and the 
Albina church was reported as 1,340. 

The Catholics followed the Methodists in point of time in the 
establishment of churches in Oregon. As early as the winter of 
1839-40 they erected a church at Champoeg, in the Willamette 
Valley, although for some years previously they had been steadily 
making converts to their faith among the Indians. In 1838 Rev. F. 
N. Blanchet and Rev. Modiste Demers were appointed by the Arch- 
bishop of Quebec as missionaries to the Pacific coast country, the 
former as vicar-general. For four years they toiled alone in their 
mission field which extended from the Pacific coast to the Rocky 
Mountains, between the California boundary and the northern glacial 
sea. They were then joined by other laborers in religious work and 

348 History of Portland. 

from that time the Catholic faith has been upheld by able and 
conscientious workers. 

The first movement toward the erection of a Catholic church in 
Portland was commenced in the fall of 1851, at which time Rev. 
James Croke was authorized by Archbishop Blanchet to solicit dona- 
tions for the purpose. About $600 was secured through subscrip- 
tions from residents of Portland, with which half a block of ground 
was purchased from Capt. J. H. Couch, somewhere in the vicinity 
of Sixth and D streets, and the building commenced. 

During the erection of the church, the few Catholics who were 
then in Portland, used to assemble at the residences of Catholic 
families, until the completion of the little sacristy at the end of the 
church, where for the first time midnight mass was celebrated at 
Christmas, 1851. By February, 1852, the work was sufficiently 
advanced to have the building dedicated, the services being per- 
formed by Archbishop F. N. Blanchet, assisted by Very Rev. J. B. 
Brouillet, Vicar-general of Nesqualy and Rev. James Croke, pastor. 
The edifice itself at this time was a mere shell, the inside walls 
being covered with cotton cloth, and the sanctuary and altar with 
Chinese matting. 

The church remained on the original site until 1854, when it 
was moved to the site now occupied by the Cathedral of the Immac- 
ulate Conception, on the corner of Third and Stark streets. Here 
the building remained for the next ten years without change. When 
in 1862, the Most Rev. Archbishop removed from Oregon City to 
Portland, this humble church became the pro-Cathedral. In October, 
1863, Very Rev. J. F. Fierens, V. G., was appointed to take charge 
of the pro-Cathedral. By this time the congregation had so increased 
as to require a larger building. Under Vicar-general Fierens, two 
wings were added to the main building which were completed in the 
fall of 1864, the first service in the enlarged church being cele- 
brated on Christmas day of that year. Seven years later 
it again became necessary to enlarge the building to meet the 
needs of the congregation. This was accomplished between August 
and October, 1871. During the next seven years, the Catholic 
population of Portland had so increased that it was found necessary 

Churchks. 349 

to erect a larger building. The old edifice was removed and in its 
place was built the present Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. 
It is a Gothic structure fronting on Stark street. It was dedicated 
in 1882, and at present is completed with the exception of the main 
tower. Very Rev. J. F. Fierens, V. G., has been pastor of this 
church since 1863, but for several years past he has had from one to 
two assistants. The present assistants are: Rev. Edward O'Deaand 
Rev. J. Northman. 

Since 1862 Portland has been the residence of the Archbishop of 
the Diocese of Oregon. Archbishop Blanchet continued in charge of 
the Diocese until his death in 1885, when the Most Rev. Wm. H. 
Gross was appointed. 

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception remained the only 
Catholic house of worship in this vicinity until 1874, when St. 
Francis Church in East Portland was built. On January 9, 1882, 
this church, which stood on the corner of Eleventh and J streets, was 
blown down by the memorable storm of that date, after which the 
present edifice was built on the same site. Rev. L,. Verhaag is pastor 
of this church. 

The next Catholic house of worship erected was the Church of 
St. Iyawrence, on the corner of Third and Sherman streets, built in 
1883. In 1886 St. Joseph Church, on the corner of Fourteenth and 
C streets, was built; and in 1888, St. Patrick's on S street, between 
Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets, and the Church of the Immacu- 
late Heart of Mary, in Albina. In the Church of St. Joseph the 
services are conducted in the German language. The pastors of the 
churches last named are as follows: Church of St. Lawrence, Rev. 
B. Orth; St. Patrick's, Rev. P. Gibney; Church of St. Joseph, Rev. 
Dr. Albert- Sommer; Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Rev. 
G. B. Van Un. 

According to the best authority the present Catholic population 
of Portland and vicinity is between 7,000 and 8,000. 

The first Congregational minister in Oregon was Rev. Harvey 
Clark, an independent missionary, who organized a church in Oregon 
City in 1844. In 1847 the American Home Missionary Society 
sent Rev. George H. Atkinson and wife to labor in Oregon. In the 

350 History of Portland. 

early part of 1848 Mr. Atkinson held two services in Portland, one 
in a log shingle, shop, and the other in an old warehouse, the 
congregation crowding in among bales and boxes of goods. 
Occasional services were afterwards held by Mr. Atkinson and Revs. 
Harvey Clark and C. Eells. 

In November, 1849, Rev. Horace Lyman and wife arrived. 
Mr. Lyman had been sent out by the Home Missionary Society in 
1847, but remained at San Jose, California, one year engaged in 
teaching. After his arrival in Portland he at once began the work 
of building up a church. In 1850, one of the town proprietors, D. 
H. Lownsdale, gave the ground and the citizens made liberal 
donations to carry out the project. With this assistance Mr. Lyman 
began the erection of a church building at the South end of Second 
street. Much of the manual labor connected with the task was 
performed by this zealous minister, and so hard did he work that he 
fell ill from over-exertion. He soon, however, rallied and 
prosecuted the work with such vigor that the building was completed 
and dedicated June 15, 1851. Revs. George H. Atkinson, J. S. 
Griffin and Harvey Clark assisted Mr. Lyman in the dedication 
ceremonies. The building was 32x48 feet in dimensions; had a 
belfry and a small spire and cost $6,400. Mr. Lyman was pastor 
for four years and a half when he removed to Dallas. For a year 
and a half thereafter Rev. Geo. H. Atkinson officiated as pastor but 
continued during this period to reside at Oregon City. In November, 
1855, Rev. P. B. Chamberlain was installed pastor. During his 
pastorate, which covered a period of over five years, a large number 
of the congregation withdrew to form another Presbyterian Church, 
as had been the case during Mr. Lyman's pastorate, but both move- 
ments were unsuccessful. When Mr. Chamberlain's labors closed, 
in March, 1862, the church was in a very weak condition, and for 
more than a year thereafter was without a settled pastor. 

In July, 1863, Rev. George H. Atkinson became pastor and under 
his labors many were added to the church. In 1870, the old house 
of worship became too small for the congregation and the present 
church building on the corner of Second and Jefferson streets was 
begun. It was finished in the following year and first used on 

Churches. 351 

August 6, 1871. During the labors of Dr. Atkinson, which con- 
tinued until December, 1872, the church made substantial progress 
and was placed on a firm basis. 

Dr. Atkinson was followed by Rev. J. D. Eaton, who remained 
until May, 1876, when he resigned to enter another field. For a 
year and a half thereafter Rev. J. H. Aclon, of the Methodist church, 
supplied the pulpit. In April, 1877, Rev. J. A. Cruzan became pastor. 
He was succeeded by Frederick R. Marvin in 1883, who remained 
three years, when the present pastor, Rev. T. E. Clapp, assumed 
charge of the congregation. 

During Dr. Atkinson's pastorate Plymouth Church congregation 
was organized, in 1871, and soon after the present church building 
on the corner of Fourteenth and E streets was eredled. For some 
years Dr. Atkinson officiated at both churches, but in 1880 Rev. E. 
P. Baker assumed charge of the Plymouth congregation. The latter 
remained but a short time and since that time the following pastors 
have been stationed at different times over this church : Revs. E. R. 
Loomis, George H. L,ee, George H. Atkinson and Ezra Haskell. 
The present pastor is Rev. C. T. Whitttlesey. 

The Mount Zion Congregational Church was also established 
through the efforts of the members of the First Church. It was 
organized in 1879 and during its early existence was almost wholly 
dependent on the First Church. It has now become self-supporting 
and for several years has been presided over by Rev. A. W. Bowman. 

The first Episcopal clergyman who came to Oregon was the Rev. 
St. M. Fackler. He crossed the plains in the year 1847, in search 
of health. The first services of the church of which] we have any 
record were held by him in Oregon City in 1847. His health con- 
tinuing poor, however, he made no efforts to establish anywhere any 
stated services or to organize a parish. 

It was not until 1851 that any definite steps were taken by the 
church in the East to send a missionary to Oregon. In April of that 
year Rev. William Richmond, of the Diocese of New York, was 
sent to Oregon and on Sunday, May 18, together with Mr. Fackler 
he held services in the Methodist house of worship in Portland. 
Some idea of the newness of the country and of the hardships 


352 History of Portland. 

endured by missionaries at that time may be gathered from the 
following extradl from a letter written by Mr. Richmond shortly after 
his arrival in Portland: U I occupy a room in a shanty, merely clap- 
boards, quite open to the air; with a rough, unplaned, ungrooved 
floor; no carpets, no plastering, no ceiling. For this I pay twelve 
dollars a month, three dollars (fifteen was the price) having been 
dedu6led on account of my mission. I also do my own cooking, and 
gather my own wood out of the forest behind me; yet my expenses 
will be as great as in a good boarding house in New York." 

At the conclusion of his first service in Portland, May 18, 1851, 
Mr. Richmond organized Trinity Parish, it being the first parish 
organized in the Diocese of Oregon and Washington. From that 
time until the arrival of Rev. John McCarthy, D. D. , of the Diocese 
of New York, who in Jan. , 1853, as Chaplain in the army, came to 
Fort Vancouver, Mr. Fackler at stated times held services in 
Trinity Parish. There were only about two or three families 
connected with the church. On his arrival Dr. McCarthy was 
persuaded to take charge of the work* here in connection with his 
chaplaincy at Vancouver. 

In October, 1853, Rev. Thomas Fielding Scott, of the Diocese of 
Georgia, was elected Missionary Bishop of Oregon and Washington, 
and arrived in Portland in April, 1854, to enter upon his new field 
of labor. The first church erected in Trinity Parish was consecrated 
by Bishop Scott,. September 24, 1854. It stood on the northwest 
corner of Third and Oak streets and was the first church building of 
this denomination consecrated on the Pacific Coast. 

In 1867, Trinity Parish bought a half block on the corner of 
Sixth and Oak streets, upon which the present church building now 
stands. The corner stone of this building was laid on April 25, 
1872, but the edifice was not completed until the following year. 

Upon the creation of the Diocese of Oregon and Washington, 
Portland became and has since remained the headquarters of the 
Diocese. Bishop Scott, although his labors extended over a vast 
field, resided at Portland and did much to strengthen and build up 
Trinity Parish. He died in New York City in 1867, whither he had 
gone for the benefit of his wife's health, JHis genial manners and 

Churches. 353 

his marked ability, as a preacher, won for him the affection and 
commanded the respect of all who had ever heard him preach, or 
who had been personally acquainted with him. He did much 
for the church during its darkest days in this portion of the North- 
west, while his labors in behalf of education have since borne abundant 
fruit. He was succeeded as Bishop by Rt. Rev. B. Wistar Morris, 
D. D., in June, 1869. For several years thereafter the Diocese 
continued to embrace Oregon and Washington, but during late years 
Oregon has been a separate Diocese, over which Bishop Morris still 

The following are the names of the clergymen who have officiated 
in Trinity Parish from time to time, since its organization to the 
present day: 1851 and 1856, Rev. William Richmond, Rev. St. M. 
Fackler, Rev. John McCarthy, Rt. Rev. Thomas Fielding Scott, D.D., 
and Rev. Johnston McCormas; 1856, the Bishop, Rev. James Iy. Daly 
aud Rev. John Sellwood; 1857 to 1860, Rev. John Sellwood, Rev. 
Carlton P. Maples and Rev. Peter E. Hyland; 1861 to 1865, Rev. 
Peter E. Hyland; 1866 to 1871, Rev. William Story; 1871 to 
present time, Rev. R. D. Nevins, Rev. George Burton, Rev. George 
F. Plummer, Rev. George W. Foote and Rev. Thomas L. Cole, 
the last named being the present Rector. 

In the year 1863, St. Stephen's Chapel, on the corner of Madison 
and Fourth streets, was completed and opened for service, thus 
affording two places where Episcopal services were conducted in 
Portland. It was projected and built at his own expense by Bishop 
Scott. Rev. John Sellwood was the first Rector. In 1870 Rev. 
John Rosenberg became Rector and has ever since most ably 
discharged the duties of pastor. On June 1, 1882, the present 
church building on the corner of Jefferson and Fifth streets was 

The parish connected with St. Matthew's Chapel was formed in 
1885, and has a commodious church edifice on the corner of First 
and Caruthers streets. Rev. B. E. Habersham has been rector ever 
since the parish was organized. 

Trinity Mission Chapel is of recent origin, and for a time was 
under the charge of the Bishop of the Diocese, A chapel has been 

354 History of Portland. 

built on the northeast corner of Eighteenth and Q streets. For 
some time Rev. Wm. MacEwan has been rector. 

St. David's Episcopal Church parish, East Portland, was formed 
in 1871, and in December of that year the first services were held by 
Rev. J. W. Sellwood in the present church building, but the edifice 
was not completed until nearly a year thereafter. Rev. C. R. Bonnell 
assumed charge of the congregation in 1872 and remained about a 
year. For a time Rev. James R. W. Sellwood officiated. He was 
followed in 1874 by Rev. Arthur W. Wrixoa, who continued as 
rector for seven years, when Rev. J. W. Sellwood 1 took charge of the 
work. The church numbers one hundred and eighty-five commu- 
nicants and is in a prosperous condition. 

The first Baptist church on the Pacific coast was organized at 
West Union, Washington county, Oregon, May 25, 1844. Two 
years later the first Baptist meeting house was built at this point. 
From 1844 to 1848, Rev. Vincent Snelling, Elders Hezekiah John- 
son, Erza Fisher and Porter ministered to the congregation. In 
1848 the Willamette Baptist Association was organized, at which 
time there were six churches in the State. 

In 1850 the first steps toward the organization of a Baptist 
church in Portland, were taken. In this year Hezekiah Johnson • 
secured from Stephen Coffin the donation of a half block, corner of 
Fourth and Alder streets, upon which the First Baptist Church now 
stands. Five years later a church organization was perfected with 
ten members. Rev. W. F. Boyakin was chosen pastor and Josiah 
Failing deacon. The church was unfortunate in the choice of a 
pastor and in 1860 only three members remained. With the hope 
of reviving the church, the Willamette Association appealed to the 
American Baptist Mission Society to place a missionary in the field. 
In response to this request, Rev. Samuel Cornelius, D. D., was sent 
to labor in Portland. He arrived in June, 1860 and on the first 
Sunday in July preached in the Methodist church. A public hall 
on First street was afterward secured where regular meetings were 
held until January, 1862, when the basement of the present church 
was so far completed as to be used for religious services. 

1 Rev. J. W, Sellwood died in March, 1890. 


Churches. 355 

In September, 1864, Dr. Cornelius returned to the east, leaving 
a membership of forty-nine persons. During the next two years 
the church was without a pastor. December 27, 1866, Rev. E. C. 
Anderson arrived to take charge of the church. 

March 9, 1867, the society was incorporated, and in January, 
1870, the church edifice was completed and dedicated. Mr. Ander- 
son completed his labors in December, 1870, after which a pastoral 
vacancy of nearly eighteen months occured. 

On the second Sunday in June, 1872, Rev. Henry Medbury 
began his pastorate. The church soon after became self-supporting, 
and under Mr. Medbury' s guidance the first 'mission work of the 
church was began. A Sunday School was organized in East 
Portland; land purchased there for a church and preaching services 
were for some time maintained by Rev. Addison Jones. The 
Mission school in Stephen's Addition, and the Chinese Mission were 
soon after founded. 

In August, 1875, the pastorate of Mr. Medbury closed and that 
of Rev. D. J. Pierce began. Failing health induced Mr. Pierce to 
tender his resignation in June, 1877, and in August following, Rev. 
A. S. Coates became pastor. The latter was succeeded by Rev. John 
A. Gray in December, 1880, who remained for three years. During 
his pastorate the church was enlarged and refitted. 

In May, 1884, Rev. J. Q. A. Henry became pastor, and during 
the four years of his pastorate the church had a very prosperous 
period, over 400 accessions to the membership being made. The 
present pastor, Rev. John Gordon, was installed in October, 1888. 

The First Baptist congregation is one of the largest in the city, 
the members numbering over 500. Large contributions to mission 
work, local and foreign are made, while every effort put forth to 
establish Baptist churches within, or near the vicinity of Portland, 
has been liberally sustained by :he congregation. In 1874, a Baptist 
Mission School was founded in Stephen's Addition, East Portland. 
This was the first attempt at home mission work by the congregation. 
Four years later twenty-two members from the First Church were 
dismissed to form the First Baptist Church of East Portland, and 
about the same time a chapel in Stephen's Addition was dedicated. 

356 History of Portland. 

The Emanuel Baptist Church is the outgrowth of the Meade 
street mission, established early in 1884. In May, 1886, a chapel 
was erected on the corner of Second and Meade streets, where 
services are now regularly held by the pastor, Rev. B. F. Rattray, 
who in 1888 succeeded Rev. Frederick Eason. 

The First Scandinavian Baptist Church was organized in 1884, 
through the efforts of Rev. Gustavus L,iljoroth. Rev. O. O'Kerson 
became pastor in 1885, and was succeeded by the present pastor, 
Rev. Nicholas Nayland, in 1886. Recently a new church building 
has been erected by this congregation at 109 North Eleventh street, 
North Portland. # 

Besides the churches named, the Baptists of Portland maintain 
missions at North Portland and Albina. 

The first minister of the Presbyterian denomination in Oregon 
was Lewis Thompson, a native of Kentucky, and an alumnus of 
Princeton Theological Seminary, who came to the Pacific slope in 
1846. He was soon after joined by a minister from Ohio, Robert 
Robe, who with E. R. Geary, of Lafayette, formed the Presbytery of 
Oregon on 19th of November, 1851. 

In 1853 there were five Presbyterian ministers in Oregon, the 
three already mentioned and J. L. Yantis and J. A. Hanna. At a 
meeting of the Presbytery held at Portland in October of this year, 
a petition from a number of persons for the organization of a church 
in Portland was received and considered. The request was granted 
and Rev. J. h. Yantis, D. D., whp had preached here for some 
months was appointed to organize the proposed church. 

Under Dr. Yantis' efforts the First Presbyterian Church of Port- 
land was constituted and organized January 1, 1854, with twelve 
members and the ele<5lion of Wm. P. Abrams and James McKeon as 
elders. Dr. Yantis was assisted in the work by Rev. George F. 
Whitworth, who had recently arrived in Oregon and who supplied 
the Portland church for two months. 

On May 1, 1854, Dr. Yantis reported the organization and the 
church was taken under the care of the Presbytery. When the 
church was organized it was expedled that Dr. Yantis would be its 
permanent pastor, but he divided his time between the Portland 

Churches. 357 

church and the church at Calipooia, his previous charge, in I^inn 
county, eighty miles from Portland, whither he journeyed on horse- 
back twice each month, until an affliction of the eyes compelled him 
to give up the Portland work. After this the church was only 
occasionally supplied, until June 4, i860, when Philip S. CafFrey, a 
recent graduate of Princeton, became stated supply. Mr. CafFrey 
continued his ministerial work in Portland until January 1, 1867, 
when failing health caused him to resign.- During this period, in 
the summer of 1862, the lots on the corner of Third and Washington 
streets were purchased for $1,500, upon which a church building 
was erected at a cost of about $20,000, being dedicated on May 22, 
1864, the dedication sermon being preached by Rev. George H. 

On October 23, 1865, the society was duly incorporated as "The 
First Presbyterian Church and Society of the City of Portland, " by 
Messrs. W. S. Ladd, J. C. Ainsworth, O. P. S. Plummer, J. D. Hol- 
man and M. B. Millard. The value of the property then owned by 
the society was $25,000. 

At the close of Mr. CafFrey' s labors, the church remained for 
nearly two years without a pastor. Rev. A. L. Iyindsley, D. D. was 
extended a call in August, 1867, which he finally accepted and was 
installed April 25, 1869, as the first regular pastor of the church. 
At this time there were only eighty-seven members, but under Dr. 
L,indsley's ministry the church rapidly grew in influence and mem- 
bers. He was especially adlive in mission work among the Indians of 
the Northwest, aiding in establishing missions among the Alaskans, 
Nez Perces, Puyallups,Umatillas, Spokanes and others. His pastorate 
continued for over eighteen years and during this period he organized 
twenty-one churches and dedicated twenty-two, while the gifts of the 
church for all purposes amounted to over $240,000. His election to 
the chair of Practical Theology in the San Francisco Seminary led 
to his resignation as pastor in November, 1886. 

In January, 1886, the old church property was sold at public 
auction for $68,000 and the erection of a new church on the quarter 
block on the corner of Alder and Tenth streets, which had been 
purchased in 1883, was commenced. The chapel of this church has 

358 History of Portland. 

been completed and the main building will soon be finished. It is a 
magnificent stone structure, the total cost of which, including furnish- 
ings, will be about $125,000. Dr. Iyindsley's resignation and removal 
to California left the church without a pastor, and so it continued 
until January, 1888, when a unanimous call was extended to Rev. 
Arthur J. Brown, of Oak Park, Illinois. Mr. Brown accepted the 
pastorate, and on May 9, 1888, was duly installed. 

This church now numbers over 400 members and is in a most 
flourishing condition. For many years it was the only Presbyterian 
church in Portland and vicinity, but when it became apparent that 
other churches were necessary, some of its members withdrew for 
the purpose of forming new organizations. Where recently but one 
Presbyterian Church existed, eight are now doing effective work, 
and to this development the old church has been able to contribute 
to a considerable extent, in both membership and means. The 
Portland Seaman's Friend Society, and the Bethany Mission, the 
latter organized in August, 1889, are also largely sustained by the 
First Presbyterian Church. The officers of the church are as follows: 
Ruling Elders, Royal K. Warren, William B. Gilbert, Stephen P. I,ee, 
Edward Quackenbush, Alfred S to well, William M. L,add; Trustees, 
Henry W. Corbett, Thomas N. Strong, William S. Ladd, Donald 
Macleay and Dr. George M. Wells. 

Calvary Presbyterian Church was organized in February, 1882, 
by some fifty members who withdrew from the First Presbyterian 
Church, since which time it has been maintained independently of 
the parent church, and the " Board of Home Missions. " The first 
officers elected were: George J. Ainsworth, H. C. Coleman, John 
Honeyman, Wesley Jackson, William Wadhams, and Dr. Curtis 
C. Strong, Elders, and Henry J. Corbett, treasurer. On July 1, 
1882, Rev. Edward Turnbull L,ee became pastor. Soon after Mr. 
Lee began his labors a lot was purchased on the corner of Clay;. and 
Ninth streets and on this site the corner stone of the present church 
building was laid September 11, 1882, Dr. Lindsley of the First 
Church delivering the address. The building was completed in 
about a year's time, and cost $35,000. It is a neat gothic structure, 
having an auditorium, pastor's study, chapel and Sabbath school 

Churches. 359 

room on one floor. The seating capacity of the auditorium is 500, and 
the chapel, 300. A little to the North of the church building is the 
church parsonage, which is owned by the church and occupied by 
the pastor. Mr. Lee resigned in 1887, and was succeeded by the 
present pastor, Rev. Wm. H. Landon. This church is in a thriving 
and growing condition and is doing an excellent work. 

St. John's Presbyterian Church in North Portland is the out- 
growth of the mission labors of Rev. R. J. McLaughlin, who was 
sent to this field by the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions in 
1881. His labors, however, were largely sustained by the First 
Presbyterian congregation. A Sabbath School was first organized 
at the Couch Engine Room on G street about the middle of August, 
1883, while preaching services were held every Sabbath evening at 
Watson's Hall, corner of Sixteenth and T streets. A short time 
after the mission was opened two lots on the corner of Sixteenth and 
M streets were donated by Mrs. J. H. Couch, and upon them in 1884 
the present church edifice was built. The congregation was organized 
in November, 1884, some thirteen of the members of the First 
church withdrawing from that body to complete the organization. 
Mr. McLaughlin was succeeded as pastor in 1888 by Rev. J. V. 
Milligan, who still presides over the congregation. 

The United Presbyterian Church was organized in April, 1884, 
and has a suitable church building on the southeast corner of Sixth 
and Montgomery streets. Rev. Wm. R. Stevenson very acceptably 
labored in the establishment of the church and for four years 
continued as pastor. He was followed in 1888 by the present pastor, 
Rev. Wm. W. Logan. 

The Fourth Presbyterian Church was organized in 1887, and is 
located in South Portland, on South First street, between Grover 
and Gibbs streets. Rev. Thomas Boyd has been pastor since the 
formation of the church. 

The Chinese Mission maintained by the Presbyterians of the 
city has been in existence for several years. Rev. Wm. S. Holt is 
the missionary in this field of work. 

In response to a call issued to the Israelites residing in Portland, 
a meeting was held at the National Hotel Sunday, May 2, 1858, for 

360 History of Portland. 

the purpose of organizing a Jewish congregation. Eight gentlemen 
assembled; M. Mansfield, Jacob Mayer, Samuel Levy, David Simon, 
Iy. Cohen, S. M. Lyon, and B. Simon. One week later, 
May 9, 1858, the gentlemen named and H. F. Bloch, Leopold 
Mayer, Abraham Frank and J. Mecholup completed the organization 
of Beth Israel congregation, at which time the following officers 
were elected: Leopold Mayer, President; M. Mansfield, Vice Presi- 
dent; Abraham Frank, Treasurer and B. Simon, Secretary. 

Burke's Hall was secured as the place of worship and Rev. S. 
M. Laski was engaged as Reader. The congregation rapidly 
increased in members and the erection of a Synagogue was soon 
discussed. In October,' 1859, a lot on the corner of Fifth and Oak 
streets was purchased. On May 12, 1861, the corner stone of the 
Synagogue was laid, and in August following the building was com- 
pleted and consecrated. In May, 1861, Rev. H. Bories was chosen 
minister, remaining in charge of Beth Israel until July, 1863, when 
Rev. Dr. Julius Eckman was elected the first Rabbi of the congre- 

The Synagogue was enlarged in 1865 to meet the requirements 
of the congregation, and for more than two decades thereafter was 
used for religious purposes. In the meantime the congregation had 
grown so large that it illy answered for a house of worship. The 
erection of a more suitable building was periodically discussed, but 
no decisive action was taken until Col. L. Fleischner took the mat- 
ter in hand and in response to his efforts the necessary steps were 
taken which led to the erection of the present Synagogue. He was 
ably assisted by Rev. Dr. J. Bloch, who had been elected Rabbi in 
October, 1883. 

In May, 1887, the necessary ground was secured at the corner of 
Tenth and Main streets. Plans for a Synagogue drawn by Williams 
& Smith were accepted and on January 8, 1888, work was com- 
menced. The building, costing $70,000 was completed and dedi- 
cated on January 2, 1889. In exterior dimensions the structure is 
one hundred and fifteen feet by fifty-eight; the two ornamental 
towers being one hundred and sixty-five feet from the street to the 
apex. The basement is of stone and brick and divided into school 

Churches. 361 

and meeting room. The superstructure is of wood. With the gal- 
lery the auditorium will seat seven hundred and fifty persons. 

The congregation now numbers one hundred and fifty male 
members. The present officers are: S. Blumauer, President; J. 
Kaufman, Vice President; N. Baum, Treasurer; Sol Friedenthal, 
Secretary. Following are the names of those who have served as 
Readers and Rabbis of the congregation: Rev. S. M. L,arki, Rev. 
H. Biers, Rev. H. Bories, Rev. Dr. Julius Eckman, Rev. Dr. 
Isaac Schwab, Rev. M. May, Rev. Alexander Rosenspitz and the 
present Rabbi, Rev. Dr. J. Bloch. 

The Jewish congregation of Ohavi Sholem was organized in 
1872 by Dr. Julius Eckman, and has a Synagogue on Sixth street 
between Oak and Pine streets. Since that time Revs. Mellis, Rob- 
ert Abraham, I. Kaiser and A. W. Edelman,have officiated as Readers. 
The present Reader is Rev. Robert Abrahamson. The congregation 
numbers fifty members. 

Prior to the year 1866 there was no Unitarian church in Portland. 
There were four or five individuals and a few families who cherished 
a faith in the principles of liberal Christianity, a term which has 
come to cover not only Unitarians and Universalists, but all who, 
holding to the essential principles of Christianity, have felt 
dissatisfied with the exclusiveness, dogmatism or formalism, which 
the traditions of men have added to the simplicity of the gospel- 
Thomas Starr King had visited the country, but chiefly as a leclurer. 
We are told that he preached in the State one or two ] times. His 
name will always be identified with that of the Unitarian church 
upon this whole coast. In the year above mentioned, three individ- 
uals united in a letter to Rev. Horatio Stebbins, pastor of the church 
in San Francisco, inviting him to make a visit to Oregon and preach 
in Portland, with a view to find out whether it were best to found a 
liberal church in Portland. Mr. Stebbin's visit created a profound ' 
feeling in the community. He preached three Sundays, and was 
heard by large numbers of every class and name. The result was a 
permanent organization, and the adoption of a constitution, which 
was signed by twenty-three persons. On the 30th of June the church 
was duly incorporated by the first Board of Trustees as corporators. 

362 History of Portland. 

A sum of money was subscribed toward obtaining a minister from 
the East, and by various agencies a sufficient sum was obtained, even 
before a pastor was secured, to purchase two lots and ere6l the present 
bnilding on the corner of Yamhill and Seventh streets — the land 
costing $2,000, and the building the same sum. In the fall of '67, 
Rev. T. Iy. Eliot, then settled in St. Louis, was invited, through 
the American Unitarian Association, to take charge of this, the most 
distant of the churches in the country. Starting from St. Louis the 
11th of November, the pastor and his family arrived in Portland by 
way of the Isthmus and San Francisco, the day before Christmas. 
On the last Sunday of the year the church was dedicated, the 
services being conducted by three of the ministers of the place — 
Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian. Since that time services have 
been conducted without any interruption, to the present time. Rev. 
Dr. Eliot has been the minister for twenty-two years — the longest 
protestant pastorate in the city and during that time has officiated at 
500 funerals, 440 weddings and 488 baptismal services. The church 
now numbers two hundred communicants, and has a strong constitu- 
ency and parish additional. Its pastoral and charitable work has 
always been large, in proportion to the age and strength of the 
church; the expenses, usually about $3,500 a year, are paid by 
voluntary subscription. A charitable fund, amounting to $300 a 
year, is formed by collections upon the first Sunday of each month. 
The Sunday School now numbers about one hundred and fifty 
scholars and twenty-two teachers, and is full of earnestness and life 
and the congregations are always large, frequently filling the church 
to its utmost capacity. Its members are in the main influential in 
the community, and among the foremost in the city's public enter- 
prises and charities. The business of the society is conducted by a 
board of nine trustees — three retiring by expiration of their term, 
and three chosen every year. 

In the year 1878-79, the present edifice on the old site, was 
completed at a cost of $20,000. The former church building is 
now the chapel and Sunday School room. In addition to the 
Christian Union, above named, there are connected with the church 
a "Postoffice Mission" for disseminating religious literature, and the 

Churches. 363 

W. G. Eliot Fraternity of Young People. The society also supports 
a Mission Sunday School in South Portland with ten teachers and 
sixty scholars. 

The Unitarian Church of America, originating in the New 
England Controversy of 1820-30, is a small, loosely organized but 
powerful body, identified everywhere with intellectual freedom, the 
progress of science, and spiritual religion. It is a church eminent 
for philanthropy and great scholarship, and numbers among its 
members, numbers of the leading authors and reformers of the age. 
The German Lutheran Church was organized in 1868 by Rev. H. 
Meyers. Services were first held in Trinity Methodist Church. The 
first officers were: F. T. Lauterwausser and John A. Fisher, Elders; 
C. H. Meussdorffer and Henry Lansen, Deacons. The present house 
of worship, corner of Fifth and Taylor, was completed in 1870. It 
has a seating capacity of five hundred. The following have served 
as pastors: Revs. H. Meyers, C. S. Spricher, Henry Gans, G. P. 
Weaver and A. Meyers. Rev. Henry Doering is the present pastor. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Church began its 
existence in 1883 with Rev. John W. Skans as pastor, who has 
continued in that relation ever since. A neat church building has 
been erected on B street, between Ninth and Tenth streets. 

The Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church was 
organized in 1886. Rev. John Tackle continued as pastor for one 
year, since which the church has been without a pastor. 

The English Lutheran Congregation was organized in 1888. 
Services are held every Sunday by the pastor, Rev. M. L. Sweizig in 
Central Hall. The erection of a church edifice is contemplated. 

The First German Evangelical Reformed Church was organized in 
1874, by Rev. John Gantenbein. A few years later the present church 
building on the corner of Ninth and Stark streets was erected. The 
services are conducted in the German language, and the church is in 
a prosperous condition. Mr. Gantenbein is still pastor and the 
prosperity of the church is largely due to his labors. 

The First Christian Church was organized in February, 1870. 
For several years services were held in Nonpareil Hall, corner of 
First and Madison streets. In 1881, a lot was purchased on the 


364 History of Portland. 

corner of East Park and Columbia and during the same year the 
present house of worship was built. The following pastors have 
served this church: C. Sharp jr, B. Wolverton, Henry Shader and 
Clark Davis. At present the congregation have no regularly stationed 

The society of the First German Evangelical Church was formed 
in 1878. The first pastor was Rev. H. W. Axthelm under whom 
the present house of worship, on the Northeast corner of Eighth 
and Clay streets, was built in 1880. Rev. Charles Wachlte succeeded 
Mr. Axthelm in 1883. He remained two years when Rev. Adam 
Schlenck was chosen pastor. The present pastor Rev. Herman 
Schuknecht began his pastorate in 1888. 


During the earlier years of Portland's history, the poor of the 
city were cared for by the generosity of individual citizens or through 
the efforts of relief societies connected with the various churches. 
As the city grew in population more systematic methods for dealing 
with want and destitution became necessary. In obedience to this 
demand the Ladies Relief Society — the first organization to take up 
the work independently of the religious denominations of the city — 
came into existence. This society was formed in March, 1867, Mrs. 
G. H. Atkinson, Mrs. E. Ainsworth, Mrs. J. C. Ainsworth, Mrs. M. 
S. Burrell, Mrs. J. H. Couch, Mrs. J. B. Congle, Mrs. T. L. Eliot, 
Mrs. Thos. Frazer, Mrs. A. Holbrook, Mrs C. H. C^ewis, Mrs. 
Donald Macleay, Mrs. S. G. Reed and others being among the 
original members. 

After four years' work among the poor of the city, the necessity 
of providing a "Home" where the forsaken and neglected children 
of the city could be kept and cared for became apparent to the 
members of the society. To attain this object, the ladies secured 
the co-operation of W. S. L,add, Henry Failing, David C. Lewis, 
Rev. T. Iy. Eliot and J. C. Ainsworth, who in July, 1871, under the 
laws of Oregon, became a corporate body and the original trustees 
of the corporation known as u The Home." Soon after the incor- 
poration was secured the society and board of trustees purchased 

Benevolent Societies. 365 

two lots and a small house on the corner of F and Fourteenth 
streets for $2,000, twelve gentlemen contributing $100 each 
toward the purchase, which with the money at that time in the 
hands of the society, left a surplus of $200 after paying for the 
property. A few months later, a sum of $3,000 was secured for 
building a "Home," which was immediately begun, and in Sep- 
tember, 1872, formally opened under the charge of Miss E. Davison 
as matron. Here for twelve years the society did a grand work, the 
' 4 Home' ' being constantly filled with children who were provided 
with comfortable quarters and pleasant surroundings. 

As the city increased in population, the building became too 
small for the purpose, and in response to the appeals of the mem- 
bers of the society for enlarged quarters and a site further out of 
town, Henry Villard, early in 1883, donated to the society a block 
of land in South Portland, bounded by Gaines, Lane, Corbett and 
Water streets. Upon this land, admirably situated for the purpose, 
a three-story building, 108x58 feet in dimensions, has been erected, 
which was opened in November, 1884. It is a handsome and impos- 
ing structure, and furnished with every facility for the comfort and 
health of its inmates. Since it was opened, the average number of 
children maintained has been eighty. Girls from three to twelve 
and boys from three to ten years are received. They are provided 
with comfortable clothing, plain but plentiful food, surrounded with 
good moral influences, and from the time they arrive at the legal 
school age until they leave the institution, attend the public schools. 
When they attain the age they are to leave the "Home," inmost 
cases they are adopted into families or provided with situations where 
they can earn their own living. 

During recent years, the State Legislature has annually appro- 
priated a certain sum to be expended in maintaining the " Home." 
Last year (1889), $5,000 was received from this source, but outside 
of the aid it receives from the legislature and from, an endowment 
fund of $13,680, it is entirely supported by voluntary contributions. 

In September, 1889, a hospital building costing $3,000, was 
completed on the block occupied by the Home. It is to be princi- 
pally used for the treatment of contagious diseases. 

366 History of Portland. 

Mrs.G. P. F. Wood has held the position of Matron of the Home 
since February, 1879. She has proven a most earnest worker and 
well qualified for a most trying position. Under her care the chil- 
dren receive judicious training, and are surrounded by influences 
well calculated to leave a lasting impress for good. Among others 
who are especially deserving of praise for their work in behalf of 
" The Home, " are Drs. Ziba B., Animi S. and Clarence L. Nichols, 
who for the past seven years have gratuitously tendered their pro- 
fessional services to the inmates. During this period but one death 
has occurred among them, a fact due largely to their skill and 

The Board of Trustees of ' l The Home' ' is composed of W. S. 
Ladd, Henry Failing, H. W. Corbett, Rev. T. L. Eliot and Wm. 
Wadhams. W. S. Ladd is President of the Board; Henry Failing, 
Treasurer and Rev. T. L. Eliot, Secretary. The officers of the 
Ladies' Relief Society, to whom, in connection with the officers of 
the Board of Trustees, the care and management of ' 'The Home' ' is 
entrusted, are: Mrs. Amory Holbrook, president; Mrs. H. F. 
Suksdorf, vice president; Mrs. Theodore Wygant, treasurer; Mrs. C. F. 
Rockwell, secretary; Mrs. H. Thielsen, Mrs. B. Goldsmith, Mrs. 
H. W. Corbett, Mrs. F. Alleyne Beck, Mrs. W. W. Spaulding, 
Mrs. T. B. Merry, Mrs. Eugene D. White, Mrs. C. F. Rockwell, Mrs. 
J. B. Congle, Mrs. D. P. Thompson and Mrs. Geo. T. Myers, 
advisory committee. 

The German Benevolent Association is one of the oldest 
charitable organizations in the city. It was formed in 1869, mainly 
through the efforts of Christian H. Muessdorffer, one of Portland's 
most successful German merchants. Among its first officers were: 
Henry Saxer, president; Charles Burckhardt, treasurer; Dr. Charles 
Schumacher, secretary and C. H. Muessdorffer, chairman of the 
board of trustees. To render aid to destitute Germans who come to 
Portland is the object of the society, and during the years of its 
existence it has been the means of rendering timely aid to many 
worthy emigrants. The society has a hospital fund of more than 
$20,000, and in the near future intends to erect and maintain a 
hospital, ground for which has already been purchased. The work 



c? jrr. 

Benevolent Societies. 367 

of the society is carried on with the money received from monthly 
membership dues. The present officers are: John Wagner, 
president; C. Caesar, vice president; C. Von Wurtzengerode, secretary 
and agent; Frank Dekum, treasurer; C. H. Muessdorffer, L. Levy 
and D. W. Hoelbing, trustees. 

Among the most practical 'charitable organizations of Portland 
should rank the Boys and Girls Aid Society. The good accom- 
plished by a similar society in California induced a number of our 
citizens to unite in perfecting an organization here. Prominent 
among those who aided in the preliminary work and who has ever 
since been a most valuable friend of the society, is Rev. T. I/. 
Eliot, a prominent figure in charitable and philanthropic work 
during his many years of residence in our city. An organization 
was perfected in July, 1885, at which time the following officers 
were chosen: H. W. Corbett, president; F. E Beach, secretary; Iy. 
L,. Hawkins, treasurer; W. S. Ladd, H. W. Corbett, P. F. Keen, L. L. 
Hawkins, Helen P. Spaulding, W. B. Gilbert, F. E- Beach and I. F. 
Powers, trustees. 

The object of the society is to improve the condition of the 
homeless, neglected and abused children of the State, using such 
means as are strictly non-sectarian in character. It began work 
under the provision of an act passed by the State Legislature in 
February, 1885, called "An Act for suspension of judgment against 
minors, and for commitment to the care of certain charitable 
corporations." Under the provisions of this act it receives "juvenile 
offenders, n by legal commitment or otherwise, who are in danger of 
being imprisoned; provides for such until suitable homes or employ- 
ment and oversight are found for them, and continues a systematic 
attention to their treatment and condition. 

In 1887 a special officer of the city police was detailed to the 
services of the society. He investigates cases, visits families, attends 
to all reports at the station regarding boys, attends the courts 
whenever boys or girls are on trial, looks after the children in the 
streets, keeps a record of the cases and carries out in general the 
work as directed by the officers of the society. 


368 History of Portland. 

The society lias been instrumental in securing from the legislature 
the passage of several bills aiming to improve the moral and physical 
condition of the young, such as the act restraining the sale of tobacco 
and cigarettes to minors, and also the bill above referred to 
empowering courts to transfer to charitable institutions the guardian- 
ship of minors on proof of sufficient cause. 

Among those who have been especially active in carrying on the 
work of the society is Ira F. Powers, the acting superintendent of 
the executive committee, who from the start has been a zealous 
worker, and whose earnest and self-sacrificing labors have gained 
for the organization such a strong hold on the confidence of the 
public. F. E. Beach has been secretary from the beginning, and 
also a valuable co-worker in the cause, while Rev. T. L. Eliot, who 
may be termed the founder of the society, has been a constant 
source of good advice and in many ways one of its most earnest and 
determined advocates. 

During 1889 the society was the recipient of #40,000 by the 
will of Miss Ella M. Smith. This fund is to be invested and only 
the proceeds to be used. The members intend in the near future to 
erect a receiving home, and with the endowanent the society has 
already received, it will be possible to make the institution largely 

The present officers are : H. W. Corbett, president; F. E. Beach, 
secretary; Iy. L. Hawkins, treasurer; Ira F. Powers, H. W. Corbett, 
J. A. Strowbridge, D. Solis Cohen, L. L. Hawkins, W. B. Gilbert, 
F. E. Beach, I. W. Pratt, Helen F. Spaulding, trustees; Ira. F. 
Powers, W. B. Gilbert and Helen F. Spaulding, executive 

For a number of years those interested in benevolent work in 
Portland felt the necessity of a better organization — a more systematic 
method of dispensing alms. Wm. G. Steel and a number of others 
connected with the society of Christian Endeavor of the First 
Congregational Church, at last took the matter in hand and with the 
hearty co-operation of many others who had been prominent 
workers in the cause of organized charity, secured in February, 
1889, the organization of the City Board of Charities. 

Benevolent Societies. 369 

This society, while it does not directly dispense alms in any form, 
aims to be a center of inter-communication between the various 
churches and charitable agencies in the city; to foster harmonious 
co-operation between them; to furnish them with trustworthy 
information, and to prevent the waste and misuse of charitable funds. 
It investigates cases of all applicants for relief which are referred to 
the society for inquiry; obtains from proper charities and charitable 
individuals suitable and adequate relief for deserving cases; procures 
work for poor persons in need who are capable of being wholly or 
partially self-supporting, and represses mendicancy by public 
exposure and prosecution of imposters. It co-operates with all 
similar societies and the constituted authorities of the city, county 
and State in all proper efforts to discover, suppress and punish 

The society is composed of the mayor and chief of police of the 
city; annual members who pay a certain sum to the society annually, 
and life members, who subscribe one hundred dollars. Its manage- 
ment is vested in seven directors, of whom the mayor is ex-officio a 

At the close of its first year's existence the society had disbursed 
nearly $3,000, and had investigated the cases of nearly 1,200 appli- 
cants for aid, while it would be impossible to give an idea of the 
value of the work actually accomplished in coping with the evils of 
vagabondism and in protecting the public from unworthy claimants 
for charity. By its work the society has demonstrated its usefulness 
and its strong claim for support. 

Mr. W. G. Steel was the first secretary of the society, rendering 
faithful and judicious service until his business interests compelled 
him to give up the work. With this exception there has been no 
change in the original officers. Thos. N. Strong is president; Geo. 
H. Williams, vice-president; W. R. Walpole, secretary; Charles E. 
Eadd, treasurer; C. J. Chamberlain, assistant secretary; Thomas N. 
Strong, Charles E. Eadd, J. C. Flanders, George H. Williams, Ross 
C. Houghton, John Klostex-inan and Mayor Van B. DeEashmutt, 
board of directors, 

370 History of Portland. 

The Portland Womans' Union, a charitable and benevolent society, 
incorporated October 21, 1887, early in the following year opened a 
boarding house for self-supporting girls, at 308 F street in the build- 
ing formerly occupied by the Woman's Relief Society as a Children's 
Home. It is designed to offer a home to women who come to the 
city strangers in search of employment or their general interest, 
unable to pay high hotel rates and ignorant as to where they may 
obtain respectable lodging places within their means. The lowest 
possible rate for board and lodging is charged, compatable with 
making the institution as nearly self-supporting as possible, but any 
woman of respectable character without means and without employ- 
ment can have a home until employment is obtained, or she is 
otherwise provided for. Accommodations are provided for twenty, 
and ever since the house was opened the full number for which room 
is provided, has found shelter and a home within its walls. 

The officers of the Union are: Mrs. Rosa F. Burrell, president; 
Mrs. H. J. Corbett, first vice-president; Mrs. D. P. Thompson, 
second vice-president; Mrs. C. W. Knowles, recording secretary; 
Miss H. E. Failing, corresponding secretary; Mrs. F. Eggert, 

The Refuge Home, an institution intended to afford shelter and 
protection to girls and women who wish to return to the paths of 
virtue, was established in January, 1889, under the auspices of the 
Women's Christian Temperance Union. Temporary quarters have 
been secured, corner of Second and Columbia streets. The legisla- 
ture of 1889 appropriated $5,000 to be used in carrying on the work 
and with this fund and voluntary contributions it is confidently felt 
that the undertaking will be enabled to accomplish much good. 
The board of managers is composed of Mrs. Anna R. Riggs, presi- 
dent; Mrs. Amos, vice-president; Mrs. M. J. Townsend, corresponding 
secretary; Mrs. R. M. Robb, recording secretary; Mrs. E. Dalgleish, 
treasurer. Mrs. N. S. Keasey is manager. 

The Portland Free Kindergarten Associatiation was organized in 
November, 1884, at which time the following officers were chosen: 
Mrs. J. F. Watson, president; Col. John McCraken, vice president; 
Mrs. Richard Hoyt, secretary and J. K. Gill, treasurer. The first 

Benevolent Societies. 371 

school was opened in November, 1884 in the old engine house on 
G street, which has since been maintained and is known as Kinder- 
garten No. 1. The object of the association is to furnish free 
instruction to children under six years of age whose parents cannot 
afford to pay for their tuition. In September, 1885, Kindergarten 
No. 2, located corner of Meade and Second streets, was opened, and 
in January, 1886, Kindergarten No. 3 was opened in Watson's 
addition on Seventeeth street. At these three schools an average 
attendance of one hundred and fifty children is maintained, who 
receive the now well recognized benefits of the Kindergarten 
methods of instruction. The work of the association is carried on 
under the direction of the following officers: Mrs. C. E. Sitton, 
president; O. F. Paxton, vice president; Miss Clara Northrup, 
secretary; J. E. Davis, treasurer ; Mrs. Caroline Dunlap, superintendent. 

The foregoing described charitable and benevolent institutions by 
no means includes all of the organizations which exist in our city. 
We have merely attempted to give brief accounts of some of the 
more prominent institutions, with no intention to ignore the praise- 
worthy efforts of many noble hearted and generous minded men and 
women connected with organizations of less magnitude, but not less 
entitled to honor. When it is understood that the institutions that 
dispense charity, in one form or another in the city of Portland 
to-day, exceed seventy in number, and that most of them are 
similar in character and aim, it will be seen that even an enumeration 
would be unnecessary. 

The aggregate yearly amount paid out for charity in our city by 
individuals, the county and charitable organizations, it is impossible 
to approximate with any degree of accuracy, but in the judgment of 
one long identified with the work in this line, it has been estimated 
to reach the sum of from $75,000 to $120,000. 

The members of the Catholic church of Portland, as those of the 
same faith in every part of the globe, have always been foremost in 
deeds of charity and benevolence. Among the earliest organized 
efforts may be mentioned St. Ann's Catholic institution for the care 
of poor and sick ladies, with Mrs. J. O'Connor, president; Mrs. E. 
H. Freeman, vice-president; Mrs. M. Steffin, treasurer, and Mrs. I. 

372 History of Portland. 

Lawler, secretary. St. Mary's Association, having for its object the 
care of orphans and destitute children, is also deserving of honorable 
mention. It is governed by the Supreme Council of St. Mary's 
Home Association, composed of John O'Connor, John Donnerberg, 
Luke Morgan, John Barrett, F. Dresser and James Foley. St. 
Vincent de Paul Society is another worthy Catholic organization. 
The care of the poor and procuring employment for those out of 
work are its main objects. D. F. Campbell is president; M. G. 
Munly, vice-president; P. J. Colman, secretary and F. Dresser, 

The British Benevolent Society was founded in 1872, by John 
Wilson, the British consul at Portland, who preceded the present 
incumbent, James L,aidlaw. Its objects are to relieve sick or 
destitute persons who are members or eligible to membership. Such 
relief is restricted to those who are or have been British subjects. 
James Laidlaw is president; John B. Wraugham, secretary; Dr. K. A. 
J. Mackenzie and John Cran constitute the board of relief. Similar in 
their aims are the Danish Aid Society and the Guiseppi Society 
(Italian). Of the former, H. I. Larsen is president and C. Hansen, 
secretary, and of the latter, Paul Sabati is president and A. Froulana, 

The Hebrew Benevolent Association is the oldest charitable 
organization sustained wholly by the Jewish population of Portland. 
Its officers are: I^ouis Fleischner, president; Iy. H. Lewis, vice-presi- 
dent; Ben. Selling, treasurer; B. I. Cohen, secretary. 

Besides the organizations already named there are the various 
societies connected with the several churches of the city which are 
important factors in the charity work of the city. These, with the 
organizations already named, together with the Ladies Relief Corps 
of the G. A. R. and the many secret orders which care for and con- 
tribute support to sick and destitute members and their families, 
constitute the main agencies at work in relieving the poor and caring 
for the destitute sick of Portland. 

The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in 
the State of Oregon, was incorporated in 1872, by B. Goldsmith, 
Henry Failing, W. S. Ladd, J. R. Cardwell, Wm. Wadhams, T. L. 

Benevolent Societies. 373 

Eliot, J. H. Woodward, James Steel, and W. T. Shanahan, of 
Portland; Mr. B. Goldsmith being elected as the first president of 
the society. The organization entered upon the work with many 
obstacles in its path. Such as questioned authority to interfere in 
behalf of unprotected children and dumb brutes; also, meagreness of 
statutory provisions, and a prevailing belief among a certain class 
of persons that children and animals possessed no rights which they 
were bound to respect. 

However, the foundation of the society had been laid, and 
through help of the City Council, new ordinances were passed which 
assisted local work, and coupled with the ever outspoken sentiment 
of the Daily Oregonian in behalf of humane principles, the efforts of 
the society were encouraged. Prevention of Cruelty was its first aim, 
and punishing offenders the alternative. But an educational 
sentiment seemed also to demand notice; therefore, in February, 
1882, the society was re-organized and re-incorporated under the title 
it now bears, the "Oregon Humane Society.'' This name gave 
a broader significence and extended the work among unprotected 
children, and all harmless living creatures. Hon. D. P. Thompson, 
was elected president of the new organization. In 1883 the public 
schools became interested in humane education, and as an incentive 
to the effort, Mr. W. T. Shanahan, the corresponding secretary of 
society, inaugurated the prize system, by offering a framed engraving 
of Pharoah's Horses for the best essay on kindness to animals, which 
was won by Miss Susie Vetter, a pupil of the Portland High School. 
So marked was the beneficial effect of awarding prizes for meritorious 
compositions that the following year at the anniversary meeting of 
the society a number of prizes were offered, graded as first, second 
and third prizes, and presented to the fortunate competitors of the 
public schools. The anniversary meetings of this society have now 
become a permanent institution of our city, and crowded houses 
attest the great interest taken in humane education. In 1884 the 
City Council detailed a police officer to act as agent of the society, 
but his jurisdiction was only within the city limits, and the necessity 
of ample State laws now forced itself upon the leaders of the work. 
Therefore, in 1885, the Humane Society carefully prepared a bill 

374 History of Portland. 

which was presented to the legislation of that year by Rev. T. L,. Eliot, 
the newly elected president, and W. T. Shanahan, the corresponding 
secretary, who remained by the bill until its passage, which gave to 
the society a new impetus and ample protection. The publication 
of humane literature is one of the important means used by the 
society to make known its work, and is gratuitiously distributed from 
the office of the secretary. 

The officers of the society are: president, Rev. T. Iy. Eliot; vice 
president, I. A. Macrum; corresponding secretary, W. T. Shanahan; 
recording secretary, Geo. H. Himes; treasurer, James Steel; special 
agent, Felix Martin, of the Police force. 

The Portland Seamen's Friend Society, auxilliary to the Ameri- 
can Seamen's Friend Society, of New York, was organized on Nov. 
4, 1877, and incorporated on July 31, 1878. 

Its chief promotor was Chaplain R. S. Stubbs, who was instru- 
mental in raising the money with which its property was purchased 
and buildings erected, costing some $20,000. There has since been 
expended nearly $5,000 in improvements, making the entire cost 
about $25,000. The present value of the Society's property is at 
least $50,000. Chaplain Stubbs continued its chaplain until he 
resigned in October, 1885, to become the general missionary of the 
New York Society on Puget Sound. 

The final organization provided for a Board of fifteen directors, 
of which the following gentlemen were original members: H. W. 
Corbett, President; Geo. H. Chance, Vice President; E. Quackenbush, 
Secretary and Treasurer; W. S. Ladd, E. B. Babbit, S. G. Reed, 
R. S. Stubbs, N. Ingersoll, Geo. H. Flanders, R. Glisan, James Steel, 
J. N. Dolph, J. W. Sprague, F. S. Aiken and Henry Hewitt. The 
membership consists of annual and life. 

"The object of the society is to promote the temporal, moral 
and spiritual welfare of the Seamen, Steamboatmen and Longshore- 
men, visiting or belonging to this port." The means employed are 
a Mariners' church, boarding house, library, reading room, visita- 
tion of ships including religious services on board, and the distribu- 
tion of suitable literature. 

Benevolent Societies. 375 

• The Seamen's Friend Societies originated some sixty years ago, 
and now they exist in nearly every prominent port in the world. 
Their object everywhere is to improve the character of seamen and 
thus to secure greater safety and efficiency in the Marine service. 
The progress has been slow, and yet so marked that brutality on 
shipboard is now the exception, rather than the rule. Among the 
most influential of all agencies in this direction, is the "American 
Seamen's Friend Society, of New York," which numbers among 
its directors and promoters, retired shipmasters, philanthropists and 
capitalists, who withhold neither time, service nor money in the 
accomplishment of their purposes. Of this society, our Portland 
organization is auxilliary, and here, as everywhere, the contention is 
against the very powers of darkness, for, the world over, the foes of 
"poor Jack" are relentlessly cruel; cupidity and greed are their chief 
characteristics, and to these the sailor boys, through innocence or 
passion, fall an easy prey. The Portland Society has had the sym- 
pathy and support of our citizens from the first and it has steadily 
pursued its object under inadequate laws and difficult of enforce- 
ment. For three years past, comparatively few abuses have been 
perpetrated in Portland, the "crimps" confining their efforts chiefly 
to Astoria, where they have less opposition and more encouragement 
than in Portland. The law passed by our last legislature, through 
the combined efforts of the Portland Board of Trade and this society, 
had a most salutary influence. The previous average charge of 
about $87.50 per man, advance wages and blood money, was 
reduced to as low as $30 to $40, and many sailors shipped without 
any advance at all. The usefulness of this society has been greatly 
impaired the past year because deprived of the use of its ' 'Home, ' ' 
having therefore no accommodations for watermen. 

Its present Board of Directors consists of E. Quackenbush, 
President; Geo. H. Chance, Vice President; James L,aidlaw, Secre- 
tary and Treasurer; W. S. I^add, H. W. Corbett, W. S. Sibson, R. 
K. Warren, J. K. Gill, J. Thorburn Ross, A. W. Stowell, Donald 
Macleay, W. J. Burns, W. B. Gilbert and James Steel. 

The necessity for this society is only too manifest. Its success 
fully justifies its existence. Its mission will not be accomplished 

376 History of Portland. 

so long as there are * 'thugs" in our port who perpetrate the prac- 
tices of a " Barbary coast." And in the Society's support our 
sympathy and efforts should be both hearty and vigorous. 


Portland is at present only moderately well provided with 
hospitals for the care and treatment of the sick and injured, but 
when those now in existence shall have been enlarged and new 
quarters erected, such as are now in course of construction, every 
facility, such as the size and rapidly increasing population of the city 
demand, will be offered. 

St. Vincent's Hospital, the first not only in Portland, but in the 
State, owe its origin to the labors of Rev. J. F. Fierens, vicar-general 
of the Catholic Diocese of Oregon, and the members of St. Vincent 
de Paul Society. The citizens of Portland, irrespective of religion 
or creed, generously supported the movement, and in July, 1875, the 
present building on Eleventh Street, between M and N streets, was 
completed. The first patient admitted was an injured chinaman, 
who received from the Sisters of St. Vincent, who have ever since 
had charge of the hospital, every attention in their power, and from 
that day to the present the doors of this institution have been opened 
to receive, nurse and administer surgical and medical aid to the poor 
in the spirit of that true charity which knows neither race nor creed, 
neither color or nationality. From the time it was opened to the 
present, 12,262 patients have been admitted, and at the present time 
there are 180 patients under treatment. The demands upon the 
hospital have for some time been greater than the capacity of the 
building would admit, and about three years ago the Sisters under- 
took the task of securing funds to erect a larger building. They have 
been successful, and during the present year (1890), they hope to 
complete a new hospital building on a five acre tract on the west 
side of the foot hills. Work has already been commenced and a 
commodious structure combining all the modern improvements and 
conveniences in carrying on the work of a hospital, will, at an early 
day, be placed at their disposal. Twelve Sisters have the manage- 
ment of the hospital, who are assisted by a number of nurses and 

EvMMmst**"* 1 

Hospitals. 377 

stewards. A majority of the patients received are objects of charity, 
while those who are able, pay for the treatment received and medical 
services rendered. Sister Mary Theresa is superintendent. 

The staff of physicians comprise Drs. Henry E. and Wm. Jones, 
J. Bell, A. D. Bevan, K. A. J. Mackenzie, G. W. Wells, Joseph 
Holt, O. S. Binswinger, and F. B. Eaton and Richard Nunn as 

The Good Samaritan Hospital was opened in October, 1875. It 
was founded by Rt. Rev. B. Wistar Morris, bishop of Oregon and 
has since been largely sustained by his personal labors in its behalf. 
It is located on the corner of Twenty-first and L streets, a high and 
healthful situation. Ever since it was opened it has been taxed to 
the utmost of its capacity. L,ast year (1889) extensions were made 
to the original building and accommodations are now afforded to 
seventy-five patients, but even with the increased room, the hospital 
is usually full of patients and at times applications for admission are 
denied because of lack of accommodations. It is supported by the 
income from nine endowed beds; revenue from pay patients and vol- 
untary contributions. Deserving poor are received as free patients, 
when properly recommended and in accordance with the capacity of 
the hospital. For the fifteen months ending September 1, 1889, 708 
were treated; of this number, 145 were free or charity patients and 
563 were paying patients. The medical staff is composed of Drs. 
Curtis C. Strong, Holt C. Wilson, Wm* H. Saylor, Andrew J. Giesy 
and Andrew C. Panton. Mrs. Emma J. Wakeman is superintendent; 
Mrs. Ruth E. Campbell, assistant; Rev. W. L. MacEwan, chaplain, 
and Gen. Joseph H. Eaton, treasurer. 

The Portland Hospital is a Methodist institution under the 
patronage of the Columbia, Puget Sound and Idaho conferences. 
Its inception was due to Dr. W. H. Watkins, Dr. E. P. Fraser, Dr. 
Geo. H. Chance, Dr. James Browne and a number of others 
connected with the three Methodist conferences named. Articles of 
incorporation were secured in 1887, and in August of the following 
year practical hospital work was begun in the Mariners' Home, 
corner of D and Third street, which was leased for a period of one 
year. During the first year of its existence more than three hundred 

378 History of Portland. 

patients have been treated. Poor patients received aid at an expense 
of more than $1,500, while nearly $1,800 was received by the 
hospital for this kind of work by donations from various congrega- 
tions within the bounds of patronizing conferences. Cash received 
from patients amounted to $6,268, while the running expenses of 
the hospital has been about $800 per month. The success of the 
institution has more than met the expectation of its originators, and 
plans are now underway to enlarge the facilities for carrying on the 
work. Five and one quarter acres of land have been purchased in 
Sunnyside addition to East Portland, upon which to erect suitable 
buildings for hospitable purposes. James Abraham, from whom the 
land was purchased, generously donated $10,000 on the purchase 
price, while John Kenworthy and George W. Staver each gave 
$1,000 toward the erection of the building, work upon which is 
now under way. It will be a three story structure, 70x112 feet in 
dimension and will cost about $30,000. 

The Board of Trustees of the Portland Hospital is composed of 
twenty-six members, nineteen of whom are residents of Portland, 
the remaining seven being representatives from the Idaho and Puget 
Sound conferences. The Portland members are: G. W. Staver, Dr. 
Geo. H. Chance, Dr. E. P. Fraser, Dr. James Browne, Dr. R. Kelly, 
Dr. A. S. Nichols, Dr. C. H. Hall, Dr. R. Glisan, W. C. Noon, J. 
K. Gill, Rev. I. D. Driver, Rev. A. Kummer, Rev. R. C. Houghton, 
W. H. Scott, W. S. Ladd, H. W. Corbett, John Kenworthy, J. A. 
Strowbridge and Rev. W. S. Harrington. George W. Staver is 
president of the board; John Kenworthy, vice president; W. S. 
L,add, treasurer and D. F. Clarke, secretary. The medical staff is 
composed of Dr. E. P. Fraser, Dr. W E- Rinehardt, Dr. Richmond 
Kelly, Dr. F. O. Cauthorne and Dr, W. B Watkins. 

Educational Institutions. 379 



First Schools in Portland and their Conductors — Early Advocates of Free Schools 
— Growth and Development of the System — Central School — Park School — Harrison 
Street School — Atkinson School — High School -Couch and Failing Schools — Course 
of Study Pursued in Public Schools --Plan and System of Management— Names of 
Teachers — City School Officers from 1856 to 1890— Portland Academy and Female 
Institute— St. Mary's Academy-Bishop Scott Academy— St. H elan's Hall— St. 
Michael's College — Independent German School — Internationnl Academy — Medical 
Colleges — Business Colleges. 

THE first school of any kind in Portland was opened in the fall of 
1847, by Dr. Ralph Wilcox, one of the very first settlers of 
the city, whose connections with the pioneer days has elsewhere been 
referred [to. His school was conducted in a house erected by Mr. 
McNemee at the foot of Taylor street. It had a very brief existence, 
but several who are still living in Portland were pupils in this 
primitive hall of learning. 

In February, 1848, Thomas Carter and family reached Portland. 
In April or May of that year Miss Julia Carter (Mrs. Joseph S. 
Smith), opened a school in a log cabin on the corner of Second and 
Stark streets. She taught but one quarter, and most of her pupils 
had previously attended Dr. Wilcox's school. 

In the winter of .1848 and '49, Aaron J. Hyde taught a school 
in what was for years known as the * ' Cooper Shop. ' ' This cooper 
shop was the only public hall in the town for some time. It 
was located on the west side of First street, between Morrison and 
Yamhill streets, on a lot which it was commonly reported a former 
owner had bought for the consideration of " two pups." Mr. Hyde 
served in the Mexican war; came to California in the spring of 1847, 
thence to Oregon; married a Miss Whitley, of Polk County, settled 
on a donation land claim about four miles southwest of Iyinn County, 
where he died in 1859. 

Previous to the passage of the act organizing the Territory of 
Oregon, August 13, 1848, Congress had reserved the sixteenth 
section of each township for educational purposes. In framing the 

380 History of Portland. 

acl for the creation of Oregon Territory, Hon. J. Quinn Thornton 
added the thirty -sixth section. This departure from the precedent 
in this regard provoked much opposition in Congress, but by the 
persistent labors of Mr. Thornton, and other liberal minded legis- 
lators, this munificent addition to our educational resources was 
secured. Not only have the public schools of Oregon received the 
benefits of this wise enactment, but those of every State and Territory 
since organized have been thus endowed. 

Rev. George H. Atkinson was among the first to agitate the 
subject of free schools in Oregon after the establishment of the 
territorial government, and to him our city and county schools are 
greatly indebted. He came to Oregon especially charged with the 
educational interest of the Territory, arriving in Portland in June, 
1848. He brought with him a quantity of school books of the 
latest and best authors, and afterwards imported a large supply. 
For many years a resident of Portland he was ever active in 
behalf of her educational interests, and in recognition of his services, 
it has recently been decided to bestow his name on one of the public 

Rev. Horace Lyman, late of the Pacific University, followed Mr. 
Hyde as a school teacher in Portland. He opened a school late in 
December, 1849, in a frame structure built by Col. Wm. King for 
church and school purposes. It was located on the west side of 
First street, second door north of Oak. On this building was placed 
a bell which now hangs in the steeple of the Taylor Street M. E. 
Church. Dr. Lyman taught three months and had about forty 

In April, 1850, Cyrus A. Reed opened a school in the "school 
house. " He taught for three months and had an average of sixty- 
two pupils. 

The next teacher was Delos Jefferson, now a farmer of Marion 
county. He began in August, 1850 and continued for three months. 
Following Mr. Jefferson came Rev. N. Doane, then as now, a min- 
ister of the M. E. Church. He taught nine months, beginning 
about December 1, 1850. 

Educational Institutions. 381 

All of the schools so far mentioned, were private, and sustained 
by tuition fees. Ten dollars per quarter for pupils was the usual 
rate, with the exception of Mr. Doane's school. The latter received 
some pecuniary assistance from the M. E. Missionary Fund. 

The establishment of a public free school, had however been dis- 
cussed. Rev. H. Lyman, Anthony L. Davis, 1 Col. Wm. King and 
others, made strenuous and continued efforts to organize a school 
district under the territorial law. In the midst of much opposition 
on the part of those who had no children of their own to educate, 
and of others who had personal interests in building up private and 
denominational schools, success was finally attained, but the precise 
date when an organization was perfected we have been unable to 
learn. The first evidence that an organization had been completed, 
is furnished in -the Oregonian of December 6, 1851, when a "Free 
School" is advertised. The board of directors consisted of Anthony 
ly. Davis, Alonzo Iceland and Reuben P. Boise. This board 
announced that John T, Outhouse would begin a school in the 
school house, next door to the "City Hotel" on Monday, December 
15,1851. "Books to be used: Sander's Reader, Goodrich's Geog- 
raphy, Thompson's Arithmetic* and Bullion's Grammar." 

Mr. Outhouse, then about twenty-two years of age, a native of 
New Brunswick, taught continuously, with the usual vacations, 
until March, 1853. He is now living at Union, Oregon, and is still 
engaged in teaching. He began with twenty scholars, and so large 
had his school become in the fall of 1852, that an assistant was 
deemed necessary. He was paid, most of the time, at the rate of 
$100 per month from the county school fund, Portland, at this 
time, paying two-thirds of his salary. 

Among the arrivals in Portland, in September, 1852, was a young 
woman from Massachusetts — Miss Abigal M. Clark (Mrs. Byron P. 
Cardwell). Miss Clarke taught a few weeks in the Portland Acad- 

1 Anthony L. Davis, one of the earliest and most zealous advocates of Portland's 
free school system, came from Fort Leavenworth, Indiana, to Portland, in 1850. He 
served a term in the State Legislature of Indiana and soon after his arrival in Port- 
land was elected a Justice of the Peace, serving in that capacity for several years. 
He was a man of high character and held in much esteem. He died in Portland in 

382 History of Portland. 

emy and Female Seminary, then in its second year and under the 
management of a Mr. Buchanan. This engagement was not 
congenial and she soon after accepted an offer to enter the public 

From an editorial in the Oregonian, November 20, 1852, it 
appears that u at a recent meeting (first Friday of November), the 
citizens voted $1,600 to support a free school." 

A notice a few days later, signed by Anthony h. Davis, Benj. 
Stark and A. Iceland, announces the opening of a school on 
Monday, December 6, 1852. Mr. Outhouse is named as teacher in 
the "school house," and Miss A. M. Clarke, as teacher of the 
primary classes on First street, between Taylor and Salmon, where 
she had an average daily attendance of over ninety pupils. 

After Mr. Outhouse closed his work, Miss Clarke continued 
opening her school in the same house, near Taylor street, March, 

1853. She taught until midsummer of the same year, and then 
accepted a position in an academy at Oregon City, then under the care 
of E. D. Shattuck, now Circuit Judge and residing at Portland. 

With the labors of Miss Clarke, the regular work of the free 
schools seems to have been for a time discontinued. Private schools 
were opening and closing every few weeks. The "academy" was 
flourishing under Rev. C. S. Kingsley. General apathy in 
reference to public schools prevailed. Over a year elapsed after the 
closing of Miss Clark's term before any movement was made 
toward reviving the free schools. The newspapers made no mention 
of the regular annual meeting in November, 1853. August 11, 

1854, Col. J. M. Keeler, then county superintendent, announces that 
he is ready to organize school districts. 

During the fall of 1854, Thomas Frazar began the agitation of 
the school question. He had printed, at his own expense, notices for 
a school meeting. He posted these notices, and after failing five 
times in succession to secure a quorum to do busines, he succeeded in 
the sixth attempt, and as a result, there appeared in the Oregonian of 
December 7, 1854, the following "call:" . 

"We, the undersigned, legal voters of the Portland school 
district, deeming it important that distrct officers should be appointed 

Educational Institutions. 383 

and our public schools re-organized, hereby annex our names to a 
call for a special meeting of the legal voters in this district to con- 
vene at the school house on First street, on Monday evening, 
December 18, 1854, at half past six o'clock, then and there to elect, 
1 — A chairman and secretary of said meeting; 2 — A board of three 
school directors; 3 — A district clerk; and to transact such other 
business, etc. Thomas Frazar, Josiah Failing, H. W. Corbett, W. 
S. Ladd, P. Raleigh, L. Limerick, D. Abrams, T. N. Lakin, A. D. 
Shelby, Anthony L. Davis. n 

At this meeting Thomas Frazar, W. S. Ladd and Shubrick 
Norris were elected a board of directors. 

In December, 1855, Multnomah county was organized, and in 
January, following, L. Limerick was appointed county school super- 
intendent. Horace Lyman and J. M. Keeler, had previously 
served as county superintendents when this city was included in 
Washington county. 

It is quite probable that L. Limerick taught the first school under 
this organization. Prior to this time, it appears that the city had 
been divided into two districts, with Morrison street as the line — 
north was district No. 1 and south, district No. 2. The board in the 
south district consisted of Wm. Patton, Col. Wm. King and E. M. 
Burton. When this organization was effected it is impossible to 
ascertain. It had, however, a legal existence during the incumbency 
of L. Limerick as county superintendent, as a description of its 
metes and bounds is found in Mr. Limerick's writing. In the fall 
of 1855, J. M. Keeler, just from Forest Grove — Tualatin Academy — 
taught the district school in this district, in the two-story house still 
standing on the southeast corner of Jefferson and Second streets. 
He continued here for six months and in April, 1856, the district 
was again merged into No. 1. 

July 7, 1855, Messrs. Frazar, Ladd and Norris advertised for a 
u competent person to take charge of the Public school in District 
No. 1. A young lawyer, Mr. Sylvester Pennoyer, had lately arrived 
in Portland. He had gone from New York to Puget Sound to 
practice law. Becoming discouraged with the prospect, he sold his 
library and started for home. He saw the advertisement and at once 

384 History of Portland. 

sought an interview with Mr. Frazar. The result was that he was 
employed and taught for six months in the "School House. " This, 
we believe, ended Mr. Pennoyer's career as a pedagogue. He 
subsequently embarked in business; has been a successful merchant; 
a prominent figure in politics and at present is Governor of Oregon. 
For over two years after the close of Mr. Pennoyer's school, no 
record has been found that gives any definite information concerning 
the public schools of the city. No one seems to have been directly 
employed by the board to teach until school was opened, May 17, 
1858, in the New Central School. 


After the consolidation of the two districts, in 1856, Col. J. M. 
Keeler became a zealous advocate of the immediate erection of a 
suitable school building. At a meeting of the taxpayers, May 12, 
1856, to discuss this project, J. Failing, H. W. Davis, Wm. Beck, 
S. Coffin and A. M. Starr were appointed a committee to ascertain 
the cost of different sites for school grounds. The committee 
reported in favor of the James Field's block, No. 179, (where the 
Portland Hotel now stands), which was purchased at a cost of $1,000. 
On this site a school house known as Central School was erected, at 
a cost of about $6,000. Here school was first opened May 17, 1858, 
with L. L,- Terwilliger, principal and Mrs. Mary J. Hensill and 
Owen Connelly, assistants. Up to July 23d of that year, two 
hundred and eighty pupils had been enrolled. Of this number but 
two resided west of Seventh street. Mr. Terwilliger was principal 
for two and a quarter years; August, 1860, Rev. George C. Chandler, 
one year; July 22, 1861, G. F. Boynton, nine months; April 30, 
1862, O. S. Frambes, one year; March 23, 1863, John McBride, 
nine months; January 11, 1864, E. P. Bebee, one and a half years; 
August, 1865, O. S. Frambes, three years; September, 1868, J. W. 
Johnson, nine months (transferred to High School April 26, 1869); 
April, 1869, R. K. Warren, two and a quarter years; September, 
1871, J. M. Williamson, three years; September, 1874, A. J. 
Anderson, two years; September, 1876, T. H. Crawford one 
year; September, 1877, S. W- King, three ye^rs; Septem- 

Educational Institutions. 385 

ber, 1880, C. W. Roby, five years. In 1883 the board of 
directors sold the block upon which the Central School stood to the 
Northern Pacific Terminal Company for $75,000 on the guarantee 
that a hotel should be built upon the block within a reasonable time. 
According to the terms of the sale the school building was to remain 
the property of the district, but was to be removed from the grounds. 
This was done a short time thereafter, the building being moved to 
a block immediately north of the old site, owned by Hon. P. A. 
Marquam, and was here occupied for school purposes until the close 
of the school year in 1885, when the Park school building was 
sufficiently enlarged to accommodate all the scholars in the district. 

PARK school. 

In 1878 the city had grown to such proportions that an additional 
school became necessary. At the annual meeting of the taxpayers, 
Charles Hodge, Iyloyd Brooke and Frank Dekum were appointed 
a committee to select a site. This committee recommended the 
purchase of block 223, known as the Harker Block, for the sum 
of $12,000. The report was adopted and the board of directors were 
authorized to purchase the land and proceed with the erection of a 
building. It was completed in the tall of 1879, and, including an 
additional room in the basement for a High School Laboratory, its 
total cost to date is $31,000. It is a twelve-room, two story wooden 
building with basement. It was first occupied by the High School 
and eight classes of the Harrison Street School, which were 
temporarily accommodated while the new Harrison Street School 
was being erected. 

In September, 1885, the Park School was opened as a regular 
grammar and primary school, with C. W. Roby as principal. Mr. 
Roby soon after resigned to accept the position of postmaster of 
Portland, and was succeeded by Mr. Frank Rigler, who remained 
until 1889, when T. H. Crawford became principal. Twelve 
assistant teachers are employed. 


Stephen Coffin, one of the original proprietors of Portland, donated 
to the city the north half of block 134, between Second and Third 

386 History of Portland. 

streets, to be used for school purposes. In January, 1865, this site 
was exchanged for the north half of block 160, on Harrison street 
between Fifth and Sixth streets. On this ground a school house was 
erecled, in 1866, at a cost of $9,941. In this building, known as the 
Harrison Street School, school was convened January 22, 1866, with 
R. K. Warren, principal and Miss M. N. Tower, Miss V. P. 
Stephens and Miss M. Kelly, assistants. For the first quarter of the 
school year there were enrolled 286 pupils. 

In 1871 an extension to the building was erected at a cost of 
$4,995. Six years later two more extensions were added at a cost of 
$5,840. The entire structure was destroyed by fire on Thursday 
morning May 29, 1879, but was rebuilt the same year at a cost 
of $21,800. September 6, 1887, the new building was partially 
destroyed by fire. Contracts were soon after let for rebuilding, and 
in January, 1888, the present structure was completed. 

Mr. Warren was succeeded as principal in 1867, by J. P. Garlick, 
who remained one year and for a short period thereafter Mr. Warren 
again held the position. In April, 1869, I. W. Pratt became 
principal, a post he has ever since most ably filled. 


The crowded condition of the public schools in 1866 made the 
erection of another building a necessity, and the board of directors 
decided to establish a school iu the north part of the city. A block 
was purchased in Couch's addition on the west side of JNTorth 
Tenth street, between C and D streets. Here, in the summer of 
1867, a seven room building was erected, costing bver $12,000. 
School was opened in February, 1868 with, G. S. Pershin as 
principal, and Misses E. J. Way, A. S. Northrup and Carrie L. Polk, 
as assistants. During the first quarters there were enrolled 216 pupils. 
In 1877 two wings were added to the building at a cost of $4,121 
and in 1888, on the same block, a two-story, four-room building was 
erected, costing $8,419. 

G. S. Pershin was principal two and a half years; T. H. Craw- 
ford, two years; S. W. King, one year; W. W. Freeman, three years; 

Educational Institutions. 387 

R. K. Warren, one year; E. E. Chapman, one year; Miss Ella C. 
Sabin, eleven years. Miss r Ruth E. Rounds, the present principal, 
began work here in 1888. She is assisted by fifteen teachers. 

' 'Atkinson' ' school was named in honor of the late Rev. George 
H. Atkinson. It was for several years known as the North school. 

HIGH school. 

This department of the school system of Portland was instituted 
in 1869. On April 26, of that year, the plan took definite shape and 
a High school was organized with quarters on the second floor of the 
North school building, with J. W. Johnson as principal and Miss M. 
N. Tower (Mrs. F. K. Arnold), as assistant. In December, 1873, 
this department was transferred to the second story, north wing, of 
the Central building and in October, 1874, it was removed to the 
second floor of the new addition. In September, 1879, it was moved 
to the second floor of the Park school. Here it was conducted until 
the completion of the present High School building. • 

This building was begun in 1883 and finished in 1885. It is a 
brick structure and located on a block bounded by Twelfth, Morrison, 
Lownsdale and Alder streets. The style is what is known as the 
Transition or Semi-Norman, which prevailed during the reign of 
Henry II and Richard I. Architecturally it presents a most pleasing 
appearance, while for the purposes intended it is one of the best 
arranged buildings on the Pacific coast. 

It is 140x200, in dimensions, and the main building is three 
stories, besides a basement and attic in height, while two towers adorn 
the front of the building, one 168 and the other 140 feet in height. 
On the first floor are six class rooms, one recitation room and a 
library; on the second floor six class rooms, a recitation room, 
museum, High school library, superintendent's and prmcipaPs offices; 
on the third floor two class rooms, art room,, model room, laboratory 
dressing room and assembly hall. The basement story is divided 
into four play rooms. The principle, upon which light, ventilation 
and heating are secured, is such as is approved by the best authorities 
on such matters, and it is believed the building, in these regards, is as 
nearly perfect as any school structure in the country. 

388 History of Portland. 

The building was projected under the directorship of John Wilson, 
Charles Hodge and William Wadhams, in March, 1883. Mr. Hodge 
dying March 30, 1883, James Steel was elected to fill the unexpired 
term of one year. William Stokes was employed as architect, under 
whose direction the entire work was designed and completed. The 
cost of the block was $30,000 and the building over $130,000. 

At the close of the first term of the High school in 1869, Miss 
Tower resigned and Miss M. M. Morrison filled her place until 
November, 1869, when Miss M. A. Hodgdon was elected first 
assistant. Mr. Johnson's acknowledged ability and earnestness, 
supplemented by Miss Hodgdon's efficiency and long experience in 
teaching, laid the foundation for a higher education which had long 
been demanded by the intelligent people of Portland. In 1872, 
Alexander Meacham was elected the first teacher of French, and in 
1874, Rev. John Rosenberg was elected as special teacher of German. 

The first regular examination by a board of examiners for pro- 
motion to the High school, was held on the 20th day of September, 
1873. Thirteen pupils were examined, eleven of whom were 
members of the North school — the other two being members of a 
private school. 

In 1876, 137 pupils were enrolled at the High school, and Rev. 
T. L. Eliot, then county school superintendent, says in his report for 
the year: u The High school is constantly increasing in members and 
influence for go9d in the community. The country is beginning to 
look at its scholars as prospective teachers — a thorough education 
and culture are imparted, and full opportunity is here given to young 
men and women to fit themselves for the business of life. ' ' 

Mr. Johnson was succeeded as principal, in 1886, by A. J. 
Anderson, who retained the position for one year, when R. K. 
Warren was chosen. Mr. Warren remained until 1888, when Miss 
Ella C. Sabin was elected to the dual position of city superintendent 
and principal of the High school. Miss Sabin has since most ably 
filled both positions. She has been intimately identified with the 
cause of popular education in this city and State for over fifteen years 
and in great measure the present gratifying success of the public 
schools of Portland, is due to her excellent management. 


Educational Institutions. 389 

Miss Sabin is assisted in the management of the High School by 
the following corps of teachers: Mr. L,. F. Henderson, principal's 
assistant; Miss H. F. Spalding, Miss Christina MacConnell, Mrs. 
Alice C. Gove, Mrs. Margaret Allen, Mr. Calvin U. Gantenbein and 
Miss Lillian E. Pool. 


At the annual meeting of the taxpayers, held March 6, 1882, the 
board of directors were authorized to purchase two blocks for school 
purposes-— one in the northern and the 4 other in the southern part of 
the city and to erect on each a school building. The board bought 
block 159, Couch's addition, and block 55, Caruther's addition. On 
the last named block a two-story, wooden building, of twelve rooms, 
was completed in October, 1883, at a cost of $38,800, upon which 
was bestowed the name of the Failing school, in honor of Josiah 
Failing. The building in the Couch addition, an exact counterpart 
of the Failing school, was completed in 1884. The latter was 
named in honor of Capt. John H. Couch, who, with Josiah Failing, 
was a member of the first board of directors after the re-organization 
of the district in 1856. 

Miss Anna M. Burnham has been principal of the Failing schcol 
ever since its organization and is assisted by fourteen assistant 
teachers. Miss Georgia L. Parker was principal of the Couch school 
for one year, since which Justus Burnham has held the position. 
Thirteen assistant teachers are employed. 

The Lownsdale Primary is a separate department of the Portland 
school system, but at present occupies quarters in the High School 
building. Miss Carrie Packard is principal. Six subordinate 
teachers are employed. 

Since September, 1886, a school has been maintained on Portland 
Heights, known as the Ainsworth School, named in honor of Capt. 
J. C. Ainsworth, a former director. Miss Marian S. Clarke is 

The school buildings possessed by the district are not only well 
adapted to the purposes for which they were built, but those 
constructed within the past few years add greatly to the architect- 

390 History ok Portland. 

ural appearance of the city. They number, including the High 
School, six, five of which have twelve rooms each, while the 
seating capacity of all the public schools is 4,500. Upon these 
buildings the district has expended over $250,000. The property 
of the district comprises five and one-half blocks of ground, while 
the buildings thereon and their contents are valued at $375,000. 

There are three departments in the scheme of the public schools 
— Primary, Grammar and High. The Primary is divided into four 
grades, each requiring one year to complete. The Grammar 
department has the same number of grades, requiring four years to 
complete. The High school course requires three and four years 
work, according to the course pursued. The English or general 
course can be completed in three years, while the classical requires 
four years. 

The studies pursued in the Primary and Grammar department are 
similar to those commonly taught in such schools. The High 
school has a liberal course of study, consisting of higher mathe- 
matics, the Natural Sciences, Latin, German, Mental Philosophy, 
Political Economy, Rhetoric, English Literature, General History, 
Elocution and Constitutional Government. 

Ninety-five teachers are employed in the public schools, exclusive 
of the superintendent. The present annual cost of maintaining this 
corps of employes is about $80,000. 

Following is a complete list of teachers in service at the close of 
the school year in June, 1889. 

Miss Ella C. Sabin, city Superintendent and Principal of the High $chool; Miss 
Ellen C. Turner, teacher of Drawing; Miss Ella E. Mitchell, teacher of Vocal Music; 
Mrs. Margaret Allen, Miss Tillie C. Amos, Mrs. A. B. Anderson, Miss Jessie Ander- 
son, Mrs. M. L. Aram, Miss A. L. Atwood, Mrs. Isabel Baker, Miss M. S. Barlow, 
Mrs. E. F. Berger, Miss Belle Bitely, Miss E. L. Bridgeford, Mrs. Sarah M. Buck, 
Miss A. M. Burnham, Mrs. Jennie Burriham, Mr. Justus Burnham, Miss Emma 
Butler, Miss L. Buckenmeyer, Miss Lulu Campion, Miss Jennie Caples, Miss M. S. 
Clarke, Miss Kate M. Colburn, Miss Myra J. Cooper, Mr: T. H. Crawford, Miss E. 
E. Crookham, Miss A. J. Davey, Miss Cora David, Miss Josie Davis, Miss H. A. 
Davidson, Miss E. F. Davison, Miss A. G. DeLin, Miss A. L. Dimick, Miss lone 
Dunlap, Mr. C. U. Gantenbein, Mrs. May Garman, Mrs. A. C. Gove, Miss Alice 
A. Gove, Miss Minnie Gray, Miss Nettie Gray, Mrs. C. E. Greene, Mrs. V. F. Good- 
win, Miss Sarah D. Harker, Mrs. Sarah E. Harker, Mr. Iy. F. Henderson, Miss Mary 
C. Hill, Miss Elsie Hoyt, Miss A. C. Jennings, Miss Jennie E. Jones, Miss Blanche R. 

Educational Institutions. 


Kahn, Miss Kate Kingsley, Miss Anna B. Knox, Miss Anna M. Knapp, Miss Sophia 
Lawrence, Miss C. F. Lamberson, Mrs. B. H. Leisk, Miss C. M. Lindsay, Miss C. 
Mac Connell, Miss Luella Maxwell, Miss Lucy S. Merwin, Miss Mary McCarthy, 
Miss E. J. Mclntyre, Mrs. B. W. McKenzie, Miss Minnie Michener, Miss Mary N. 
Millard, Mrs. B. D. Miller, Miss Bertha Moore, Miss Bugenia Morse, Miss Clara 
Mundt, Miss Alice Parrish, Miss F. Plummer, Miss Lillian B. Pool, Miss M. L. 
Powell, Mr. I. W. Pratt, Miss Bva S. Rice, Miss B. G. Robinson, Miss R. B. Rounds, 
Miss H. A. Salisbury, Miss T. Schermerhorn, Miss Kate L. Shuck, Mrs. C. R. Simp- 
son, Miss M. J. Smith, Miss Josie Southard, Miss H. F. Spalding, Miss Mary 
Spaulding, Miss Ida Springstead, Miss H. C. Stewart, Miss L. C. Stout, Mrs. N. B. 
Swope, Miss Mina Tregellas, Miss Bdith Van Vleet, Miss Kate Wallace, Miss Bessie 
Wilson, Miss Margaret Wilson, Mrs. Bva D. Wills, Mrs. A. J. White. 

Of the above, Mr. I. W. Pratt, has been employed in the public 
schools for twenty years, while Mr. T. W. Crawford and Miss Ella 
C. Sabin have been in continuous service for a period of fifteen years, 
and Miss A. L. Atwood, Miss A. M. Burnham, Miss Jennie Caples, 
Miss A. L. Dimick, Mrs. A. C. Gove, Mrs. Sarah E. Harker, Mr. 
C. F. Henderson, Miss C. MacConnell, Miss M. E. Powell, Miss R. 
E. Rounds, Miss H. F. Spalding, and Miss Ellen C. Turner, have 
been employed for more than ten years. 

The first Superintendent of the city schools was S. W. King, 
who was appointed in 1873. He was succeeded by T. M. Crawford, 
in 1878, who served until the appointment of Miss Ella C. Sabin, 
in 1888. 

The growth of Portland during the past few years is perhaps as 
clearly indexed by the growth of the common schools as by any 
other means. From the time the public school system had attained 
sufficient importance to be placed under the control of a city super- 
intendent, the number of pupils who have received instruction at the 
public schools, has increased from year to year. The following table 
will show the number of pupils enrolled each year since that time : 

Year ending, 


Year ending, 






































392 History of Portland. 

The gain in the total number of pupils registered since 1874, a 
period of fifteen years, has been 2,982, which is a total gain of 
nearly 200 per cent, in considerably less than a score of years. 
It will also be seen that the number registered in 1889, above that 
of the previous year, is greater than it has been any year since 1884, 
showing that the growth of the schools has corresponded to the 
increase in population, and the material prosperity of the city. 

While the material resources of the city have been developed, its 
commercial interests carefully consulted and its transportation 
facilities largely increased, the education of its future citizens has not 
been neglected. During the last ten years more than $1,000,000 
have been expended by the taxpayers of the city in the cause of 
popular education. In 1880 the sum of $43,862.03 was paid out 
for maintenance of schools; in 1881, $68,589.07; 1882, $118,- 
105.56; 1883, $160,097.92; 1884, $150,150.42; 1885, $128,- 
551.07; 1886, $129,362.20; 1887, $94,765.07; 1888, $139,- 
593.02; 1889, $135,347.51, and for 1890 it is estimated that 
$154,530.00 will be required. These large sums have been 
judiciously used and have made possible a system of free schools such 
as affords pupils an opportunity for a good practical education not 
surpassed by any city in the land. 

Under the laws of Oregon the public schools of Portland are not 
under municipal control, the city government having nothing 
whatever to do with the city schools. The school district is a 
separate corporation, although the territorial limits of the district are 
identical with those of the city. All matters pertaining to the 
schools are primarily decided, not by the general voters but by the 
taxpayers, and women as well as men have a vote here. The 
schools are under the management of a board of five directors, 
chosen by the taxpayers, one being elected each year to serve five 
years. The amount of money to support the schools is raised by 
such tax on the property of the school district as may be voted at 
the annual meeting of taxpayers held in March. 

The district has been most fortunate 'in the selection of its school 
officers. Since the organization of the free school system, the board 
of directors has been composed of Portland's most progressive and 

Educational Institutions. 


public spirited citizens who have generously devoted their time and 
attention to the cause of popular education. A complete list of those 
who have served the city in this capacity since the organization of 
the distridl, in 1856, is herewith appended, it being eminently fit 
that the names of these laborers in behalf of the public weal should 
be preserved : 


1856 Wm. Weatherford, J. Failing, Alexander Campbell* 

1857, Wm. Weatherford, J. Failing, John H. Couch 

1858 J. D. Holman, J. Failing, B. D. Shattuck 

1859J. D. Holman, J. Failing, E. D. Shattuck 

1860 J. D. Holman, J. Failing, B. D. Shattuck 

1861JJ. D. Holman, J. Failing, B. D. Shattuck 

1862; Wm. Weatherford, T. J. Holmes, A. C. R. Shaw* 

1863 ! S. J. McCormick, T. J. Holmes, Wm. R. King* 

1864 S. J. McCormick, T. J. Holmes, Josiah Failing 

1865! W. S. Ladd, T. J. Holmes, Josiah Failing 

1866| W. S. Ivadd, B. D. Shattuck, Josiah Failing 

1867 W. S. Iyadd, B. D. Shattuck,* Josiah Failing* 

1868 A. Iy. Lovejoy, R. Glisan,* A. P. Dennison 

1869 A. L. Lovejoy, B. D. Shattuck, Wm. Wadhams 

1870 A. L. Lovejoy, B. D. Shattuck* J. N. Dolph 

1871 J. A. Chapman, A. P. Dennison,* J. N. Dolph 

1872 J. S. Giltner, J. G. Glenn, J. N. Dolph* 

1873 J. S. Giltner, J. G. Glenn, J. C. Ainsworth 

1874 A. H. Morgan, J. G. Glenn, J. C. Ainsworth 

1875 A. H. Morgan, W. S. Ladd, J. C. Ainsworth 

1876 A. H. Morgan, W. S. Ladd, J. C. Ainsworth 

1877 A. H. Morgan, W. S. Ladd,* J. C. Ainsworth 

1878 A. H. Morgan, H. H. Northup, J. C. Ainsworth 

1879 A. H. Morgan, H. H. Northup, Wm. Wadhams 

1880 John Wilson, H. H. Northup, Wm. Wadhams 

1881 John Wilson, Charles Hodge, Wm. Wadhams 

1882 John Wilson, Charles Hodge, i Wm. Wadhams 

1883 John Wilson, James Steel, Wm. Wadhams, N. Versteeg, P. 


John Wilson, C. H. Dodd, Wm. Wadhams, N. Versteeg, P. 


John Wilson, C. H. Dodd, D. P. Thompson, N. Versteeg, P. 


John Wilson, C. H. Dodd, D. P. Thompson, G H. Durham, 

P. Wasserman 

1887 John Wilson, C H. Dodd, ,D. P. Thompson, G. H. Durham, 

W. M. Ladd 

L. Therkelson, C. H.Dodd, D. P. Thompson, G. H. Durham, 

W. M. Ladd 

L. Therkelson, M. C. George, D. P. Thompson, G. H. 

Durham, W. M. Ladd 



Thomas J. Holmes. 
Thomas J. Holmes. 
J. M. Breck .* 
J. M. Breck. 
J. F. McCoy.* 
William Grooms. 
L. M. Parrish. 
O. Risley* 
L. M. Parrish. 
L. M. Parrish. 
Iv. M. Parrish. 
L. M. Parrish. 
J. F. McCoy. 
B. Quackenbush. 
R. Weeks. 
R. J. Ladd. 
R. J. Ladd. 
R. J. Ladd. 
J. D. Holman. 
G. W. Murray. 
G. W. Murray. 
G. W. Murray.f 
D. W. Williams. 
D. W. Williams. 
D. W. Williams. 
D. W. Williams. 
Wm. Church jr. 

Wm. Church jr. 

Wm. Church jr. 

T. T. Struble. 

T. T. Struble. 

Fred A. Daly. 
H. S. Allen. 

H. S. Allen. 

* Resigned before expiration of term. 

f G. W. Murray resigned in September, 1877. B. Arnold was appointed his 

394 History of Portland. 

Besides the public schools mentioned in the foregoing, Portland 
offers many advantages in the way of private and special schools for 
those who prefer them. Among the first of the private schools which 
assumed any magnitude was the Portland Academy and Female 
Institute, which was opened in 1850, by Mr. Buchanan. In 1852, C. 
S. Kingsley and wife assumed its control and managed it for several 
years. It was located on Seventh street between Columbia and 
Jefferson streets. In 1862, Rev. D. E. Blain was principal and Miss 
S. A. Cornell, preceptress, at which time there were seventy-five 
pupils in attendance. Two years later, O. S. Frambes became 
principal; Mrs. S. E. Frambes, preceptress, and J. G. Deardorf and 
Miss Mary McGee, assistant teachers. For some years after it 
maintained a high rank as an educational institution, but the growth 
and development of the public school system finally usurped the field 
and it ceased to exist in 1878. 

St. Mary's Academy, the oldest private school in Portland, was 
founded, in 1859, by the Sisters of the Most Holy Names of Jesus 
and Mary, from Montreal, Canada, who at the same time established 
a convent of their order. They opened a day and boarding school in 
a small wooden building on Fourth street, between Mill and Market 
streets. The school has had a prosperous career, and a large three- 
story brick building has recently been completed at a cost of $40,000 
to meet the demand of the rapidly growing patronage it enjoys. At 
present twenty teachers are employed in instructing the 250 pupils 

successor. Mr. Arnold died in February, 1878, and D. W. Williams was appointed to 
the vacancy. Mr. Williams was regularly elected the first time in April, 1878. 

J Charles Hodge died March 30, 1883. James Steel was elected to the vacancy 
at a special election, Apr. 24, 1883. 

Of the thirty-three persons, including the present board, who have served as 
school directors during these thirty-three years, the following are dead: Wm. Weath- 
erford, Josiah Failing, Alexander Campbell, John. H. Couch, J. D. Holman, Thos. J. 
Holmes, A. L. Lovejoy, J. A. Chapman, John G. Glenn and Charles Hodge. 

Prior to April, 1863 the entire board was elected annually. 

In October, 1862, the school law was amended, making a term of a director three 
years. In October, 1882, an act was passed constituting cities of 10,000 inhabitants 
one school district — increasing the number of directors to five and extending the term 
to five years. 

In 1878 the time for holding school elections was changed from April to March. 

Educational Institutions. 395 

who are receiving- their education at this institution. All of the 
common English branches are taught, besides Latin, German and 
French. Rev. Mother Mary Justina is provincial superior and Sister 
Mary Patrick is directress of studies. 

It would be almost impossible to give even a list of the numerous 
private schools which, for a time, flourished in Portland. Among 
the earliest, not before mentioned, were those conducted by Rev. P. 
Machen, J. McBride and J. H. Stinson. For a time the congre- 
gation of Beth Israel maintained a Hebrew school, on the corner of 
Fifth and Oak streets. It was under the supervision of Rev. Dr. 
Eckman as principal and Rev. H. Bories and Geo. F. Boynton, 
teachers. The directors were: H. F. Bloch, N. Werthermer and 
S. Blumauer. 

Among the most successful of the private schools of Portland 
is the Bishop Scott Academy, which owes its origin to the 
Protestant Episcopal church. As far back as the year 1854, 
a long time ago in this country, a committee was appointed by 
Bishop Thomas F. Scott, to secure property for a school, to be 
conducted under the auspices of the Portland Episcopal Church, in 
the then Territory of Oregon. The site selected was a tract of land 
near Oswego. Trinity school was finally opened in the spring of 
1856, with Mr. Bernard Cornelius as principal. It had a precarious 
existence for a number of years, sometimes being closed for a year at a 
time, and closed permanently in 1865. Such names as the Rev. Mr. 
Fackler, the Rev. John W. Sellwood, and Mr. Hodgkinson are to 
be found on the records of the school, as having been in charge at 
various times. After the arrival of Bishop Morris upon his field oi 
labor, in June, 1869, he took steps to establish a school for boys in 
the then jurisdiction of Oregon and Washington. He chose Portland 
as the site of the institution, which he named — in honor of his 
predecessor — The Bishop Scott Grammar and Divinity School. The 
very first money ever received by Bishop Morris for this purpose 
came from some little boys at the Ury School, Pennsylvania. They 
saved their spending money during Lent, and sent an offering of 
$50 to the Bishop of Oregon, for a school for boys. One of those 
little benefactors, now a busy man, recently visited Portland, and 

396 History of Portland. 

manifested a warm interest in the academy which he had aided, as a 
child. Two double blocks in the pleasantest part of the city were 
next given for school purposes by Captain Flanders and Mrs. 
Caroline Couch; and the corner stone of the Bishop Scott Grammar 
School was laid on the 5th of July, 1870, by Bishop Morris, assisted 
by several of the clergy. The grounds at that time were away out in 
the woods in the western part of the city, and it required great faith in 
the development of the country and the town to establish a school 
at that time and place. With indomitable perseverance, however, 
it was built and opened for business on September 6, 1870, under 
Prof. Chas. H. Allen. The chapel of the school was named St. 
Timothy's. The property at Oswego was sold for about $5, 000, and 
held as the beginning of an endowment for the Bishop Scott 
Grammar School. The school was successful from the very 
beginning under the wise management of Prof. Allen. It continued 
with varying success until it was overcome by misfortune in the 
burning of the building on November 8, 1877. A large amount of 
church property was destroyed and the school received a severe set 
back. With his remarkable energy, however, Bishop Morris set to 
work immediately towards re-building the institution, and the corner 
stone of the present building was laid June 6, 1878. School was 
re-opened September 3d, of that year, under the charge of Dr. J. W. 
Hill as head master, who has been at his post up to the present 
writing. In 1887, the armory was built and military discipline was 
introduced; the name of the school changed to Bishop Scott 
Academy, the whole school re-organized and the institution entered 
upon a new era of usefulness. During 1888 and 1889, about 
$15,000 were expended on permanent improvements on the school 
property, consisting of a wing on the north side, practically more 
than doubling the capacity of the institution. For a number of 
years past the school has been on a substantial basis and has met 
with all the success its friends could wish for. It has grown t6 be an 
institution in the broadest sense of the word. The course of study 
is varied to meet the requirements of any class of students. The 
history of the school is closely interwoven with that of very many 
families. Its graduates and former pupils are now to be found all 

Educational Institutions. 397 

over our Northwest. The influence for good that it has upon the 
young of the Northwest is beyond calculation. Its present success 
is very gratifying to all interested in the cause of Christian 

St. Helen's Hall, a school for girls, was founded by the Rt. Rev. 
B. Wistar Morris, D. D., the present bishop of Oregon. Immediately 
upon his election as missionary bishop in 1868, he conceived the plan 
of establishing a girl's school of a high order, in which religious and 
secular education should go hand in hand. In this undertaking he 
sought and obtained the co-operation of the sisters of his wife, the 
Misses Rodney, of Delaware, all graduates of St Mary's Hall, 
Burlington, N. J., and teachers of reputation in the east. 

Bishop Morris soon bought from Mrs. Scott, the widow of his 
predecessor, a desirable site for the girl's school near the Plaza. The 
funds necessary for this purchase were furnished by Mr. John D. 
Wolfe, of New York, a noble churchman, who did the like for many 
other church schools in our country. 

The school opened September 6th, 1869, in the building then 
known as St. Stephen's Chapel, standing at the southwest corner of 
Fourth and. Madison streets. There were fifty pupils on the opening 
day. By November 1, the number had increased to eighty and the 
principals, finding that they had more than they could do, called 
Miss Atkinson, now Mrs. F. M. Warren, Jr., to share their duties. 
Since then, the Misses Rodney have constantly taught in the school 
and continued to direct it, having had a gradually increasing corps of 
able assistants. Of them, Miss Lydia H. Blackler and Mrs. Mary 
B. Clopton may be especially mentioned, both having been very 
efficient in their departments ; the one giving thirteen years of service 
and the other ten. Miss Rachel W. Morris, the very capable and 
energetic sister of the bishop, had much to do with the planing of 
the building and the organizing of the domestic department; and 
Mrs. Morris, the bishop's wife, in the twelve years of her residence 
in the school, was also a zealous worker in behalf of the school. 

The main dwelling, which was to be occupied by the bishop's 
family and the boarding department of the school, was not finished 
till November 27, 1869. The funds necessary for this building and 

398 History of Portland. 

for the various additions made to it, all came from friends of the 
church in the East, except the sum of $5, 000, which was advanced 
by some citizens of Portland, to be repaid to them in scholarships. 

The school had grown so large by Christmas, that the recitation 
rooms were too small and too few. The chapel was accordingly 
moved to an adjoining lot, purchased of Mr. Charles Holman. The 
building was then enlarged. As the school continued to grow, other 
additions were made to the dwelling house. 

The name u St. Helen's Hall n was given by two of the charter 
members of the faculty; one wishing to honor the memory of St. 
Helena, mother of Constantine, the other having in mind that 
"snowy cone" of Oregon, Mount St. Helens, which seems to keep 
watch as a sentinel over Portland. In 1880, the new chapel of the 
school was begun. It stands at the corner of Fifth and Jefferson 
streets. It is a beautiful building, adorned with windows of 
stained glass, many of which are memorials of the departed. One 
of them was erected by several young men in memory of Henry 
Rodney Morris, the eldest son of Bishop Morris, who, when not quite 
nineteen years old, gave up his life in an attempt to save the lives of 
two workmen. 

The domestic arrangements of this school are those of a home. 
Very earnest attention is given to the health of the pupils. To this 
end, calisthenics form a part of the daily exercise, as well as 

The course of study is high. It may be either regular or special. 
It is quite abreast of the demands of the times and the improved 
conditions of society. 

The school has an extensive library and an herbarium of great 
value, as well as a fine collection of shells, some from abroad, and 
many from the rivers and coast of Oregon. The instruction given is 
after the best methods in all departments, and so it has ever been. 
The German School of Music has always been the standard, in the 
musical department; and both this and the art department have more 
than a local reputation. Good English is cultivated, both in speak- 
ing and writing. The pupils are drawn from Oregon, Washington, 
Idaho, Montana, Alaska, California and Honolulu, 

Educational Institutions. • 399 

In view of the probable extension of the business portion of 
Portland into the quarter in which the Hall stands, Bishop Morris, 
several years ago, secured a beautiful block of ground on the western 
outskirts of the city, near the Park; and there the school will shortly 
be removed. This change has been hastened by the action of the 
city council, in selecting the present site of the school as that of the 
new city hall. A fine new brick building will soon be erected, and 
there it .is expected that St. Helen's Hall will begin its next year. 
The grounds of the new home will be even more ample than those 
of the present one, and the magnificent view of river and mountain 
will be unobstructed. 

Doubtless the twenty years of successful management by the 
same rector and principals have much to do with the present standing 
of the school. That it will continue to be a blessing to the State of 
Oregon seems to be assured. Probably 2,000 girls have received 
instruction at this institution, while 62 have graduated. The latter 
have formed themselves into a society of graduates and from time to 
time do some deed of kindness to their Alma Mater which 
strengthens the bonds that already unite them to her. 

St. MichaePs College was opened August 28, 1871. It was 
founded by Very Rev. John F. Fierens, Vicar General, with Rev. A. 
J. Glorieux (now Bishop of Idaho), as first principal. In February, 
1886, the college was transferred to the care of the Brothers of the 
Christian Schools, who still continue its management. The object 
of the college is to give a Christian education to Catholic youths, 
but those of other denominations are received without any interfer- 
ence whatever with religious opinions. The course of study is 
divided into four departments, viz : Preparatory, Intermediate, Com- 
mercial and Collegiate, the latter includes Algebra, Geometry, Trig- 
onometry, Surveying and Navigation, Rhetoric, English Composi- 
tion and Christian Ethics. The present number of students is two 

St. Joseph's Parochial School for boys, was established in 1868. 
It is a Catholic institution and is conducted in the basement of St. 
Joseph's German Catholic church, corner of Fourteenth and O 
streets. Miss Kolkmann is principal and Miss Orth assistant teacher. 


400 History ok Portland. 

The Independent German School, corner of Morrison and Ninth 
streets was established in 1870 by a society composed of some of 
Portland's most progressive citizens for the purpose of providing a 
school where both the English and German languages could be 
faithfully taught without any religious basis. It is supported by 
voluntary contributions and tuition fees. Frederick Beecher is 

The International Academy, corner of Ninth and Stark streets, 
was started in 1875 by Rev. John Gantenbein, pastor of the First 
Evangelical Reformed Church, as director, and his daughters as 
teachers. German and English are taught. 

Portland has two medical colleges. The older of these institu- 
tions, the Medical College of the Willamette University, was 
removed from Salem to Portland in 1878. For several years a 
building on the east side of Fourth street between Morrison and 
Yamhill, was used for college purposes, but in 1885 a new college 
building was completed at a cost of $25,000, on the corner of 
Fourteenth and C streets, capable of accommodating two hundred 
students. The faculty in 1878 was composed of I,. L,. Rowland, M. 
D., emeritus Professor of physiology and microscopy; A. Sharpies, 
M. D., Professor of principles and practice of surgery; D. Pay ton, 
M. D., Professor of psychology and psychological medicine; W. H: 
Watkins, M. D., Professor of theory and practice of medicine; R. 
Glisan, M. D., Professor of obstetrics; P. Harvey, M. D. Professor of 
diseases of women and children; O. P. S. Plummer, M. D., Professor 
of materia medica and therapeutics and Dean of the faculty; S. E. 
Josephi, M. D., Professor of geni to-urinary and surgical anatomy; R. 
O. Rex, M. D., Professor of organic and inorganic chemistry; 
Matthew P. Deady, Professor of medical jurisprudence; E. P. Frazer, 
M. D., Professor of hygiene and dermatology; H. C. Wilson, M. D., 
Professor of eye, ear and throat; R. H. Alden, M. D., Demonstrator 
of anatomy. The present faculty is composed of E. P. Frazer, M. 
D., Professor of diseases of women and children and Dean of the 
faculty; C. H. Hall, M. D., Professor of theory and practice of 
medicine; James Browne, M. D., Professor of physiology and hygiene ; 
Richmond Kelly, M. D., Professor of obstetrics; W. E. Rinehart, 

Emfyf.WWiams S^BroA 


Education al Institutions. 401 

M. D., Professor of anatomy; J. J. Fisher, M. D., Professor of 
materia medica and therapeutics; H. S. Kilbourne, M. D., United 
States army, Professor of surgery ; Alois Sommer, M. D., Professor of 
chemistry; D. H. Rand, M. D., Professor of genito-uritiary anatomy; 
W. B. Watkins, M. D., Professor of eye and ear; M. C. George, 
Professor of medical jurisprudence; George H. Chance, Professor of 
dental pathology: D. H. Rand, M. D., physician to out door 
department and free dispensary; W. E. Carll, M. D., Professor of 
practical and surgical anatomy. 

The Medical Department of the University of Oregon was 
established in Portland 1887, and at the present time the college is 
located in the Good Samaritan Hospital, corner of Twenty -first and 
L, streets. The faculty is composed of Hon. Matthew P. Deady, L. 
L. D. , president of the Board of Regents and Professor of medical 
jurisprudence; S. E. Josephi, M. D., Dean of the Faculty and 
Professor of obstetrics and psychological medicine; Curtis C. Strong, 
M. D., secretary of the faculty and Professor of gynaecology and 
clinical obstetrics; Holt C. Wilson, M. D., Professor of the 
principles and practice of surgery and clinical surgery; Otto S. 
Binswanger, M. D., Professor of chemistry and toxicology; K. A. J. 
Mackenzie, M. D., Professor of theory and practice of clinical 
medicine; A. C. Panton, M. D. Professor of general and descriptive 
anatomy; J. F. Bell, M. D., Professor of materia medica and 
therapeutics and microscopy; M. A. Flinn, M. D., Professor of 
physiology; G.M. Wells, M. D., Professor of diseases of children; 
Henry E.Jones, M. D., Professor of gynaecology; W. H. Say lor, M. 
D., Professor diseases of genito-urinary organs and clinical surgery; A. 
J. Giesy, M. D., Professor of dermatology and hygiene; F. B. Eaton, 
M. D., Professor of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat; Wm. 
Jones, M. D., Professor of clinical surgery; Thomas B. Perry, M. D., 
United States Marine Surgeon, Professor of clinical surgery; Richard 
Nunn, M. D., demonstrator of anatomy. 

Portland has two business colleges, which furnish ample means 
for instruction to those who desire to pursue a commercial life. 
The older of these institutions, the Portland Business College, was 
established November, 1866, by Mr. H. M. DeFrance and M. K. 

402 History of Portland. 

Lauden, as the u National Business College, " by whom it was 
conducted until July, 1872. Mr. L,auden then disposed of his 
interest to W. S. James, who continued the school till February, 
1874, when he was succeeded by W. Lynn White. DeFrance and 
White continued together until July, 1880, when De France retired 
from the school, White becoming sole owner, and changing the name 
to * ' White's Business College. ' ' The school was conducted by White 
until the time of his death, which occurred in April, 1881. Mr. A. P. 
Armstrong bought the school of the administrator of the estate of 
Mr. White, in July, 1881, changing the name to 1 " Portland 
Business College," by which it is now known. He conducted the 
school as sole owner until March, 1889, when it was sold to the 
Portland Business College Association, an incorporated company 
with the following stockholders: A. P. Armstrong, D. P. Thompson, 
Iv. L,. McArthur, T. H. Crawford, Wm. Kapus, Philip Wasserman, 
Walter F. Burrell and D. Solis Cohen. This association is now 
conducting the school'. Its design is to afford young men and women 
an opportunity to fit themselves for practical life. The following 
departments are maintained, to- wit: business, shorthand, typewriting, 
penmanship and English. 

The Holmes Business College is a comparatively new venture. 
It was opened in 1887 by G. Holmes, by whom it has since been 
conducted. Quarters have been fitted up in the Abington block 
with all appliances for giving a thorough education in such knowledge 
as is needed in following a business avocation. 

Besides the above there are special schools for special instruction 
in needle work, a kindergarten school, and many opportunities for 
private instruction afforded by special tutors. Portland, it will be 
seen, has all the necessary advantages for instruction in the 
common, and many of the special branches of education, and only 
needs a first class university to crown the system to make it one 
of the strongest of educational cities. 

Financial Institutions. 403 



Early Banks— Causes Which Stimulated the Growth of Banking Interests- 
Financial Condition of Portland Banks— Ladd & Tilton— First National Bank— Bank 
of British Columbia— Oregon and Washington Mortgage Bank— Portland Savings 
Bank — London and San Francisco Bank— Merchants' National Bank— Oregon 
National Bank — Portland National Bank— Ainsworth National Bank— Commercial 
National Bank— Northwest Loan and Trust Company— Portland Trust Company- 
Northwest Fire and Marine Insurance Company — Pacific Fire Insurance Company. 

THE first banking house of Portland was established in 1859 by 
William S. Ladd and C. E. Tilton, under the firm name of L,add 
& Tilton. It was a private enterprise and was undertaken to facilitate 
the commercial business of the city. For several years thereafter it 
was the only banking institution in the city and fully met all the 
demands made upon it. In 1866 the First National Bank and the 
Bank of British Columbia entered the field. In 1868 these three banks 
had a working capital, including deposits, of $1,500,000, ample for 
the mercantile business then conducted, since the entire exports of 
Oregon at that time did not exceed $1,250,000. Money lending on 
mortgages, by corporations, was then unknown, and there was little 
mortgage money in the hands of individuals. So much was this the 
case that interest readily commanded twelve per cent, with a 
brokerage of five per cent, and often a much higher rate was 

In 1869, 1870, 1871 and 1872, the construction of that portion 
of the Northern Pacific railroad which connected the Columbia River 
with Puget Sound, and the extension of the Oregon & California 
railroad through the Willamette Valley for 200 miles, considerably 
increased the imports into Oregon, which were principally rails, 
rolling stock, tin and salt in British ships. These vessels for the 
first time carried wheat and flour to Europe. Foreign capital was 
thus attracted to Oregon, and in 1873 the Oregon and Washington 
Trust Company was formed in Scotland, with a capital of $250,000, 

404 History of Portland. 

exclusively for mortgage loans on farms. In 1875 its capital was 
increased to $500,000, and in 1878 it had invested over $1,000,000 
in the State. 

Little progress was made in commercial banking, however, from 
1874 to 1877 on account of the stoppage of railroad construction and 
the small immigration of this period. The three banks referred to 
held practically control of the commercial banking of the entire State 
from 1868 to 1878. So carefully had the moneys of these institu- 
tions been invested that the commercial panic, which, in 1875, 
caused the suspension of the Bank of California, and many similar 
banking institutions, did not affect Portland at all. 

The Oregon and Washington Savings Bank was the fourth bank 
organized in Portland. It came into existence in 1876. It was 
followed in 1878 by the Bank of British North America, and in the 
next two years the Portland Savings Bank, the Metropolitan Savings 
Bank, and the Willamette Savings Bank entered the field. 

From 1879 to 1883 the construction and extension of the Villard 
system of railroads, which included the Oregon Railway and Navi- 
gation Company, Northern Pacific, Oregon and California, and 
Oregonian Railway, under one management, caused a vast increase 
of population. The commerce of the State took rapid strides and the 
money spent in the community, from the building of 1,890 miles of 
railway rapidly enhanced the value of the banking institutions of 
Portland. Fortunately the gold coin basis on which the banks first 
did business in Oregon, from 1860, «was continued and prevented 
that depreciation in value of securities which was so common in the 
western states after the war. 

When the foreign export trade of Portland advanced from 
$1,250,000 in 1868, to $12,936,493 in 1884, and the import trade 
to $28,203,746, considerable local capital of the city sought for 
further extensions by the subsequent organization of the Portland 
National, Ainsworth National, Commercial National and latterly the 
Oregon National and the Merchants National Banks, with a united 
paid up capital of $750,000. These five National institutions, with 
the First National, L,add & Tilton, Bank of British Columbia, 
London and San Francisco banks practically do the entire 

Financial Institutions. 


commercial banking business of the State, some of them having 
many subsidiary institutions all over Oregon and Washington which 
are tributary and feeders to the Portland banks. 

It is safe to say that Portland, at the present time, has as strong 
banking institutions as any city in the United States of equal 
population. All are doing a safe business and are conducted on a 
conservative basis, and the people of Portland take pride in their 
management and reputation. As there are no State laws requiring the 
publication of the deposits or capital of State banks and private 
bankers or those of foreign banks doing business in Oregon, their 
present condition and aggregate strength cannot be accurately ascer- 
tained. The following is a summary of the condition of the six 
national b^nks of Portland taken from the last report of the United 
States Comptroller of the currency for the year ending in December, 
1888: Total paid up capital, $1,250,000; surplus fund, $187,500; 
undivided profits, $573,359.64; individual deposits (excluding govern- 
ment deposits), $3,627,497.79; loans and discounts, $3,717,789.12; 
invested in United States bonds, $825,000; total liabilities, $7,209,- 
1 734. 65 ; while the lawful money reserve was more than double the 
amount required by law. These figures reveal the remarkable 
healthful condition of the national banks of Portland. Indeed, 
there has never been a failure or suspension of any national bank in 

The following table will show the available banking capital of 
the city for the year ending December, 1889, compiled from reliable 




First National 

$ 500,000 

$ 700,000.00 

Ladd & Tilton 


Commercial National 


Oregon National 


Portland Savings 


Ainsworth National 


Portland National 


Merchants National 


Oregon Capital 




Total Oregon Capital 

406 History of Portland. 


Bank of British Columbia $2,425,000 $ 557,750.00 

London and San Francisco 2,100,000 315,000.00 

$4,525,000 $ 872,750.00 

Total British Capital $5,397,750.00 

Total Oregon Capital 3,121,902.32 

Grand Total $8,519,652.32 

The average standing deposits in the ten banks named above is 
equal to $10,000,000, which, with the legitimate banking capital and 
the capital of the various loan companies of the city would make the 
present available banking resources of Portland fully $20,000,000, 
a statement based on a conservative rather than over estimate. 

A Clearing House was opened in Portland, July 15, 1889, and 
from that date we are enabled to give the reports for the first twenty- 
four weeks of its existence. 


July, two weeks $2,966,641.26 $ 657,167.63 

August, five weeks 7,273,339.84 1,563,332.65 

September, four weeks 6,110,056.71 1,051,479.87 

October, four weeks 7,895,075.99 1,347,030.33 

November, five weeks 9,651,097.99 1,972,803.49 

December, up to 28th, four weeks 7,733,979.16 1,517,534.88 

$41,630,190.95 $8,109,348.85 

Banking statistics such as the above are conceded to furnish the 
best possible gauge for determining the real condition of a city's 
commercial standing, and Portland's exhibit in this regard places 
her, according to population, as a trade center, unsurpassed in the 
United States. 

In mortgage banking the success of the Oregon and Washington 
Trust Company from 1873 to 1880, when it was consolidated with 
the Dundee Mortgage Company at a premium of seventy per cent, 
profit, caused foreign mortgage companies to seek investment on the 
North Pacific Coast. In 1880 the Pacific Loan Company of 
Liverpool, and the Dundee Mortgage and Trust Investment 
Company, of Scotland, entered the field. Subsequently the 
American Freehold and Land Mortgage Company, of London, and 
the New England Mortgage Company, of Connecticut, followed by 

Financial Institutions. 407 

the American Mortgage Company, of Scotland, in 1881 and the 
Oregon Mortgage Company, in 1883, all of which opened offices at 
Portland. These companies had a combined capital of over $3,500,- 
000 invested in the State of Oregon and Washington Territory, 
which was the means of developing, to a great extent, the lands of 
Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington, supplying the new settlers, 
who arrived from 1879 to 1883, through the building of the Villard 
system of railroads, with money to improve the vast tracts of land 
which was then opened up for settlement. Their aggregate strength, 
however, alarmed the granger portion of the State Legislature and in 
December, 1882, a special mortgage tax law was passed, declaring 
that all mortgages should be taxed at their face or par value. The 
effect of this law has been, in the main, harmful. The companies 
previously named immediately called in all matured loans and have 
greatly reduced their investments since the law went into effect. 
That the development of the resources of the country has been 
retarded by this, legislative attempt to decrease the profits to the 
mortgagor, is an acknowledged fact. Foreign capital, in a great 
measure, has sought other fields, while the mortgage demand being 
much greater than the supply, has caused a higher rate of interest to 
be maintained than would have been the case if competition for 
mortgage securities had prevailed. 

In the following pages we have aimed to present more in detail 
the history of each banking institution in Portland. 

No change occurred in the firm of Ladd & Tilton, private bankers, 
from the time they commenced business, in April, 1859, until 1880, 
when Mr. Tilton withdrew. They commenced business at 73 Front 
street, and so successfully were they that, in 1861, the capital was 
increased from $50,000 to $100,000. A few years later the earnings 
of the bank turned into the business brought its capital up to 
$1,000,000. When the partnership was dissolved, that is, in 1880, 
bills receivable amounted to upwards of $2,500,000. As an 
evidence of the sound and safe business conducted by this concern, 
it may be stated, that when the bank made its statement, in 1888, 
there was less than $1,300 of this balance still outstanding. 
Business was conducted on Front street until 1869, when the present 

408 History of Portland. 

bank building, corner of First and Stark street was completed. The 
career of W. S. Ladd, who has been at the head of this financial 
house from the start, is so thoroughly given in other portions of this 
volume as to make further mention in this connection unnecessary. 
His close business calculation and powers of financiering have made 
possible the accumulation of the largest private fortune in the Pacific 
Northwest. He still personally superintends and manages his 
extensive interests with all the shrewd, far-seeing business sagacity 
which marked his younger years. Since the retirement of Mr. 
Tilton, Mr. LMd's eldest son, William M., has been a partner in the 
bank. He inherits many of his father's traits, a strong will, 
perseverance and sterling integrity. He was prepared for college at 
Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated from Amherst College in 

The First National Bank, as its name implies, was the first bank 
organized on the Pacific Coast under the national banking law, and 
remained for several years the only one. It was organized early in 
1866 and opened its doors for business in May of the same year with 
a paid up capital of $100,000. Iy. M. Starr was president and 
James Steel, cashier. The opening was announced by advertisement 
in the Oregonian of May 9, stating that the bank was the designated 
depositary and financial agent of the government, and that exchange 
would be drawn on San Francisco and New York at favorable terms. 
For some time the bank occupied the upper floor of the building, No. 
73 Front street. 

In August, 1869, the greater part of the stock of the concern 
passed into the hands of Hon. Henry W. Corbett and Hon. Henry 
Failing, who have since so successfully controlled its destinies and 
extended its business. Its capital has been increased from $100,000 
to $500,000, while its foreign business has been extended, until now 
it has correspondents in ever important city in the world and has 
become the principal banking house of the city. Since 1869 Henry 
Failing has been president of the bank and Henry W. Corbett, vice 
president. The other officers are: G. E. Withington, cashier and 
H. J. Corbett, assistant cashier. The present building occupied by 

Financial Institutions. 409 

the bank on the corner of First and Washington streets was erected 
in 1883 at a cost of $80,000, and is the finest bank building in the 

The Bank of British Columbia is a branch of a London, England, 
corporation, which was founded in 1860 and has a capital of $2,425,- 
000. The Portland banch was established in 1866 with E. Russel 
as acting manager. It has been very successfully conducted and 
enjoys a liberal patronage. For several years, George Good, a 
financier of well recognized ability, has had charge of the business 
in this city. The bank building, at the junction of A, Front and 
Vine streets, was erected in 1882 and cost $65,000. 

The Oregon and Washington Mortgage Savings Bank was 
incorporated in 1876, with William Reid as president, and reorgan- 
ized in 1881. It has done a large amount of business, principally 
among the farming population of the Willamette Valley, several 
million dollars having been loaned to this class during the first 
eleven years of the bank's existence. William Reid has continued 
as president ever since the organization of the bank. William Lowe 
is cashier. 

The Portland Savings Bank was organized in 1880, and for 
the first two years of its existence was conducted largely as a matter 
of experiment. From a small beginning it has grown, however, to 
be one of the leading banks of the city. The first location of the 
bank was at the corner of Ash and Front streets, but at the end of 
the first year the demands of the business requiring larger quarters 
the bank was removed to the corner of Second and Stark. Here it 
remained until the completion of the elegant bank building at the 
corner of Washington and Second, where the bank occupies most 
attractive quarters. The president of the bank is Frank Dekum, 
who was also one of the incorporators of the institution. The other 
officers are W. K. Smith, vice-president, and H. C. Stratton, cashier. 
The board of directors is composed of D. P. Thompson, W. F. 
Burrell, Frank Dekum, W. K. Smith, R. M. Wade, George H. 
Durham, S. A. Durham, C. A. Dolph, Ward S. Stevens, E. J. 
Jeffrey and Cleveland Rockwell. The bank has a paid up capital of 
$125,000, with a surplus and undivided profits of $120,000. 

410 History of Portland. 

The London and San Francisco Bank is a branch of an English 
corporation, with headquarters in London. It was established in 
1882, and represents a paid up capital and reserve of $2,375,000. 
Under the direction of W. Mackintosh, manager, this institution has 
had a well deserved success in Portland. 

The Merchants' National Bank is successor to the Willamette 
Savings Bank. The latter institution was incorporated in 1883, 
with James Steel as president, but, in 1886, it was changed to a 
commercial bank under the present name of the Merchants' National 
Bank. Mr. Steel was chosen president, and has continued to retain 
the position ever since. His connection with the bank has largely 
contributed to its success. For many years he was cashier of the 
First National Bank and is not only a financier of acknowledged 
ability, but is a moving spirit in many important enterprises which 
have been inaugurated in Portland during recent years. Associated 
with Mr. Steel in the management of the bank is J. Loewenberg, 
the vice-president, who is prominently identified with some of the 
strongest financial organizations in the Northwest. I. A. Macrum is 
cashier. The board of directors is composed of James Steel, J. 
Loewenberg, H. L. Hoyt, J. K. Gill, J. F. Watson, W. C. Johnson 
and L A. Macrum. 

The Oregon National Bank is the out growth of the Metropolitan 
Savings Bank, which was incorporated in September, 1882, with a 
capital of $150,000. Hon. Van B. DeLashmutt was the leading 
spirit in its formation, and was elected president. Under his able 
financiering the venture proved a success, notwithstanding the 
depressed condition of the country which immediately followed its 
inception. On the foundation of the success achieved, the Oregon 
National Bank was organized in June, 1887, with a capital of 
$150,000, which later on was increased to $200,000. Mr. DeLash- 
mutt was elected president, a position he has ever since retained. The 
other officers of the bank are George B. Markle, vice-president, and 
D. F. Sherman, cashier. The directors are: Richard Williams, 
George H. Williams, George B. Markle, W. W. Thayer, Van B. 
DeLashmutt, D. F. Sherman, J. H. Smith, H. Thielsen and C. H. 
Dodd. The Oregon * National Bank has rapidly gained a large 

Fr.'/ji/A'^WiVZ'.v/r: ZtBnM 

Financial Institutions. 411 

business and holds a place in the foremost rank among the financial 
concerns of the city. The officers have in contemplation the erection 
of a new bank building which will be an ornament to the city and 
furnish adequate, accommodations for the growing business of this 

The Portland National Bank was incorporated in May, 1884, and 
has been in successful operation ever since. Wm. Reid is president 
and Wm. Lowe, cashier. The directors are: William Reid, A. Reid, 

C. J. McDougall, John McGuire and F. E. Habersham. 

The Ainsworth National Bank was organized in 1885, with a 
capital of $100,000. This bank is located in the Ainsworth block, 
corner Third and Oak streets, a substantial fire proof building. In 
connection with the bank is a safe deposit vault for the storage of 
valuables, which is extensively patronized. The officers of the bank 
are: L,. L,. Hawkins, president; W. K. Smith, vice-president: J. 
P. Marshall, cashier. The directors are L,. I/. Hawkins, W. K. 
Smith, Preston C. Smith, J. P. Marshall and W. S. Charleston. 

The Commercial National Bank commenced business January 4, 
1886, with a capital of $100,000, which has since been increased to 
$250,000. D. P. Thompson the president of the bank is largely 
interested in country banks and has thus been enabled to draw 
around him an extensive clientage. Frank Dekum is vice-president, 
and R. Iy. Durham, cashier. The board of directors is composed of 

D. P. Thompson, Frank Dekum, R. M. Wade, E. S. Kearney, 
George H. Williams, R. Jacobs, L. White, Henry Weinhard, Cleve- 
land Rockwell, J. W. Hill, H. C. Wentman, J. B. David, W. F. 
Burrell, George H. Durham and R. L,. Durham. This bank 
occupies a portion of the Portland Savings' Bank building, corner of 
Second and Washington streets. 

loan and trust companies. 
The Northwest Loan and Trust Company, and the Portland 
Trust Company of Oregon, both do a savings bank business. The 
former was incorporated February 2, 1887, with a capital of $150,- 
000. It receives and pays interest on sums of one dollar and 
upwards, and also executes trusts of every description; adls as 
assignee, receiver, guardian, executor and administrator or in any other 

412 History of Portland. 

fiduciary capacity. The officers are George B. Markle, president; J. 
L,. Hartman, treasurer, and W. G. Dillingham, secretary. The 
board of directors is composed of George H. Williams, Herbert 
Bradley, S. B. Willey, H. Thielsen, J. A. Sladen, C. A. Alisky, 
Thos. F. Osborn, D. F. Sherman, Geo. B. Markle, J. Iy. Hartman, 
Chas. F. Beebe and J. Thorburn Ross. 

The Portland Trust Company was incorporated April 22, 1887. 
It receives deposits in sums of two dollars and upwards. Its officers 
are H. L. Pittock, president; A. S. Nichols, vice-president, and Benj. 
I. Cohen, secretary. These officers, with A. M. Smith, C. E. Sitton, 
Cleveland Rockwell, W. W. Spaulding, L. G. Clarke, Charles H. 
Woodward and A. F. Hildreth compose the board of directors. 


During the last few years four local insurance companies have 
come into existence in Portland, and all of them are prosperous and 
on a solid financial basis. The oldest of these is the Oregon Fire 
and Marine Insurance Company which was incorporated in 1881 
and has a paid up capital of $220,000. I* White is president; H. 
W. Corbett, vice-president and Edward Hall, secretary. 

The Northwest Fire and Marine Insurance Company was incor- 
porated in January, 1886, but did not commence business until 
the fall of 1887. It has a capital of $500,000. The officers are: 
J. Loewenberg, president; J. McCraken, vice-president; R .P. Earhart, 
secretary and manager; F. M. Warren, treasurer, and E. Everett, 
assistant secretary. 

The Columbia Fire and Marine Insurance Company was 
organized in May, 1887, with a cash capital of $500,000. It 
engages in all the business pertaining to fire and marine insurance. 
The directory of the company includes: D. P. Thompson, Asabel 
Bush, Frank Dekum, H. Thielsen, Walter F. Burrell and John A. 
Child. The officers are: Frank Dekum, president; A. H. Breyman, 
vice-president, and Peter Outcalt, secretary. 

The Pacific Fire Insurance Company of Portland was organized 
March, 1888, with a capital of $500,000. F. E. Beach is president; 
Wm. McFall, vice-president; J. A. Strowbridge, treasurer, and W. 
F. Brownton, secretary. 

The Press. 413 



Early Efforts to Start a Newspaper — Growth and Progress of the Oregonian — The 
Evening Telegram— The Western Star — Democratic Standard — Portland Daily News 
— Pacific Christian Advocate — Daily Evening Tribune — Oregon Herald — Portland 
Daily Bulletin — Daily Bee — Daily Evening Journal — Evening Post — Northwest News 
— Oregon Deutsch Zeitung—Staats Zeitung — Freie Press — List of Newspapers which 
Appeared from 1870 to 1880— Catholic Sentinel— The New Northwest—Portland 
Journal of Commerce — North Pacific Rural Spirit — East Portland Papers — The West 
Shore-^Sunday Mercury — Sunday Welcome — Pacific Express— Oregon Times — The 
World— Newspaper Mortuary Record from 1880 to 1890. 

PORTLAND has always had an industrious and vigorous press. 
The fathers of the city were not slow to perceive that among the 
things necessary to build up the city and make it known to the world 
was an active and enterprising press, and very soon after the city 
was started there was an effort to establish a newspaper here. The 
project was talked of for a considerable time before means were 
found of carrying it into execution. It was no easy matter to find a 
man who would undertake the publication of a newspaper in so young 
and small a community, and who at the same time possessed the 
ability and energy necessary for such a work. In those days there 
was not a newspaper in every village, as now. The business was 
yet to be created. Finally, towards the end of the year 1850, Col. 
W. W. Chapman, Hon. H. W. Corbett and others resolved that 
Portland must not wait longer for a newspaper, and that measures 
must be taken to establish one. 

In the autumn of 1850, Messrs. Chapman and Corbett were in 
San Francisco on a variety of business relating to the new city of 
Portland. The newspaper was not forgotten. Their desire was to 
find a man who had the means of establishing a weekly newspaper 
and experience in conducting the business. Such a man fortunately 
was found in Thomas J. Dryer, the founder of the Oregonian. Mr. 
Dryer was a native of Ulster County, New York. He had worked 
on the country press in his State, and had become known as a 
vigorous writer. He was not a man of much literary culture, but 

414 History of Portland. 

had high intelligence and great energy, and by nature belonged to 
the west rather than to the east. He had just arrived in California 
and had brought with him a hand press and a small lot of printing 
material. Mr. Corbett, in pursuit of a man who would establish a 
paper in Portland, fell in with Mr. Dryer, and undertook to show 
him that Portland was just the place for him; just the place where he 
could make an outfit like his own available. Colonel Chapman 
joined in the effort, and Mr, Dryer was induced to come to Portland 
to start a newspaper. 

There was delay in getting the press and material shipped to 
Portland, but it finally arrived and was hastily put in order, and the 
first number of the Oregonian appeared December 4, 1850. It was 
a sheet of four pages, six columns to the page, and was to be 
published weekly. From that day to this it has never missed a 
weekly issue. Mr. Dryer was an aggressive and spirited, though 
not a scholarly or polished writer. The journals of that day gave 
little attention to reporting the ordinary incidents or affairs of their 
localit}'; news-gathering had not yet been developed into a science 
or business, and petty political discussion, consisting largely of 
personalities, and often descending to grossness, was the staple of 
the newspaper's work. Soon after the Oregonian was started at 
Portland the Statesman was started at Oregon City, and as one was 
Whig and the other Democrat, controversies soon became hot 
between them. During a long period their columns were filled with 
bitter articles against each other, and the personalities of journalism 
were carried to an extreme seldom witnessed elsewhere. Their 
remote positions from centre of news, and the fact that few things 
of importance were transpiring in so small a community, were other 
causes that led the Oregon jotirnals of that period to devote their space 
so largely to petty contention and personal vituperation. But the 
u Oregon style" passed away in course of years, with the conditions 
that produced it. 

The Oregonian, it is needless to say, was not a prosperous paper. 
Its earnings were small and debts accumulated, but means were 
found to carry it on from year to year. In 1853, Henry L. Pittock, 
who had just arrived in Oregon, across the plains, was engaged to 

The Press. 415 

work upon the paper. He was a practical printer, a youth of steady 

habits and great industry, and upon him gradually fell the duty of 

publishing the paper. Mr. Dryer gave little attention to details; he 

wrote editorials when in the humor — usually when he wished to 

assail or retort on opponents — and yet the paper was a positive force 

in Portland and throughout Oregon, chiefly because it suited the 

humor of a considerable number of the people, and there was nothing 

else to take its place. Mr. Dryer, through its columns and through 

his activity in the small politics of the day, kept himself continually 

before the people; he was several times a member of the territorial 

legislature, where he was as aggressive as in the columns of his 

newspaper; and later he was a member of the convention that 

framed the constitution of the State. Meantime, Mr. Pittock, with 

the industry, perseverance and judgment that have since made him 

so conspicious as a manager in journalism, was attending to the 

details and " getting out" the paper week after week. In 1860, Mr. 

Dryer was chosen one of the electors on the Lincoln presidential 

ticket. The next year he was appointed minister to the Hawaiian 

Islands, and as he owed Mr. Pittock quite a sum for services, 

the latter took the paper and soon started it upon that career which 

has since made it so successful and famous in journalism. Mr. Dryer, 

after several years of residence abroad, returned to Portland, where 

he died in 1879. 

Upon undertaking to publish the paper on his own account, Mr. 

Pittock' s first resolve was to start a daily. Two daily papers were 

already published in Portland — the Times and Advertiser; and each 

of these appeared to have a better chance for life than the Oregonian. 

But the patience, industry, application and skill of Mr. Pittock 

soon decided the contest in his favor. The first number of the 

Daily Oregonian appeared February 4, 1861. It was a sheet of four 

pages, with four columns to the page. As the civil war was just then 

breaking out great efforts were made to get news, and the energy of 

the Oregonian put it in the lead of its competitors. It was assisted 

also by its vigorous espousal of the cause of the Union, and people 

began to look to it not only for the news but for expression of their 

sentiments upon the great crisis. Simeon Francis, a veteran news- 

416 History of Portland. 

paper man from Springfield, Illinois, became editor, and held the 
place about one year, when he withdrew to accept a position in the 
army. He was succeeded by Amory Holbrook, a very able man but 
an irregular worker, who held the position two years. During 1864 
and part of 1865, various persons did editorial work on the paper, 
among whom John F. Damon, now of Seattle, and Samuel A. 
Clarke, of Salem, deserve mention. In May, 1865, Harvey W. 
Scott was engaged as editor, and has ever since held the position, 
with the exception of the interval from October, 1872 to April, 
1877, during which the paper was under the charge of W. Lair 

In 1872, Hon. H. W. Corbett bought an interest in the paper, 
which he held till 1877, when he sold it to Mr. Scott, who resumed 
editorial charge. Since that time the paper, under Mr. Pittock as 
manager and Mr. Scott as editor, has grown with the country, has 
increased in circulation and has fully established itself at the head of 
journalism in the Northwest. 'Of the importance of Portland as a 
city, of the extent of the business of Portland and of the super- 
eminent position of the city in the Northwest, there is no surer 
attestation than the pages of the Oregonian, 

The Evening Telegram was started in April, 1877. It was under- 
taken by an association of printers and was helped by the proprietors 
of the Oregonian. This arrangement lasted not much more than a 
year, when the printer's who had engaged in it decided to go no 
further. The proprietors of the Oregonian thereupon took up the 
paper and have published it ever since. 

The Western Star was started at Milwaukie shortly after the 
Oregonian was started at Portland. Milwaukie was a rival of 
Portland for commercial eminence, but it was soon perceived that the 
race was hopeless and the Western Star was brought down to Port- 
land, where it was published as the Oregon Times. This paper was 
started by John Orvis Waterman, who remained with it several years. 
He was succeeded by Carter & Austin, who published the paper till 
1861, when it was suspended. In 1854, the Democratic Standard 
appeared. Under the management of Alonzo Iceland, who now lives 
at I^ewiston, Idaho, it wielded some power in local politics. James 

The Press. 417 

O'Meara succeeded Iceland in 1858. A year thereafter it suspended 
publication, but was soon after revived and for a few months continued 
the struggle, for existence, making its last appearance on June 6, 

On April 18, 1859, the first number of a daily newspaper was 
issued in this city. It bore the title of Portland Daily News> and 
was published by S. A. English & Co. , with E. D. Shattuck as 
editor. It soon ceased to exist, and the material upon which it was 
printed was moved to Eugene City. The advent of the News was 
quickly followed by the appearance of the Oregon Advertiser, a 
weekly journal, under the editorial and proprietory control of Alonzo 
Leland. This paper continued to be published until October, 1862. 
Toward the end of its career S. J. McCormick became editor. He 
was succeeded by George Iy. Curry, the last editor of the paper, who 
had been 'one of Oregon's territorial governors. The Advertiser 
was uncompromisingly democratic in its utterances and to such an 
extent did it support the anti-war attitude of its party during the 
early period of the war of the rebellion that its suspension was not 
entirely voluntary. 

The Pacific Christian Advocate, the oldest religious journal in 
Oregon and the only paper, exclusive of the Oregonian, which has 
had an existence since the pioneer days of Portland, has been 
published since 1855. It was first established at Salem as an inde- 
pendent Methodist weekly with Rev. T. H. Pearne as editor, but in 
1859 was removed to Portland. It was published as an independent 
paper until the session of the general conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in 1856, when that body adopted it as a general 
conference paper, and selected Mr. Pearne as editor for four years. 
Mr. Pearne continued as editor until 1864, when Rev. H. C. Benson, 
D. D., was chosen as his successor. The latter was succeeded in 1868 
by Rev. Isaac Dillon, D. D., who occupied the editorial chair for 
eight years. In 1876 Rev. J. H. Acton became editor and served 
for four years. During all these years the paper was by no means 
self-supporting and had been a source of considerable expense to the 
general conference. In view of this fact, at the meeting of the 
general conference in 1880 it was determined to discontinue the 

418 History of Portland. 

Advocate, and after paying its liabilities to donate the paper to the 
Oregon and Columbia River General Conference. This was done, 
and the conference named turned the paper over to a joint stock 
company composed of members of the conference of which George 
W. Staver is president, Rev. Alfred Kummer, secretary and treasurer 
and Rev. A. J. Hanson, business manager. Rev. H. K. Hines was 
selected as editor under the new management. He served for eight 
years and during that time the subscription list largely increased and 
the paper was placed on a good financial basis. In 1888 Rev. W. 
S. Harrington became editor — a position he still holds. The present 
circulation of the Advocate is about twenty-four hundred copies. 

After the suspension of the Advertiser the next newspaper venture 
in Portland, in connection with the secular press, was the Daily 
Evening Tribune, which was first issued in January, 1865. Col. 
Van Cleve and Ward Latter were its editors. It had a brief career, 
suspending within a month from date of issue. 

The Oregon Herald followed the Tribune, appearing March 17, 
1866, with H. M. Abbott and N. L. Butler as editors and proprietors. 
It was started as a Democratic organ. In June, 1866, the paper 
was purchased by a stock company composed of some of 
the leading Democratic politicians of the State, among the 
directors being A. E. Wait, W. Weatherford, J. K. Kelly, L. F. 
Grover, J. S. Smith, N. Iy. Butler and Dr. J. C. Hawthorne. Under 
the new management, Beriah Brown became editor. Financially 
the paper was not a success, and in November, 1868, it was sold to 
W. Weatherford, Sylvester Pennoyer at the same time becoming 
its editor. A few months later Mr. Pennoyer purchased the paper, 
continuing as editor and publisher until July 1, 1869, when he 
disposed of it to T. Patterson & Co. For a time thereafter Eugene 
Semple was editor. The paper, however, had but a brief existence 
after its last sale, and was finally forced to suspend, the entire plant 
being disposed of at auction. 

Before the suspension of the Herald, however, two new dailies 
entered the field, the Portland Evening Bulletin, edited by J. F. 
Atkinson and the Portland Evening Commercial, edited by M. P. 
Bull, the former appearing January 6, 1868, and the latter July 

The Press. 419 

11th, of the same year. They pursued an independent course in 
dealing with political questions, and made a vigorous fight to secure 
support, but both failed to find the road which leads to success in 
journalism, and after comparatively brief careers were added to the 
death roll of Portland newspapers. 

The Portland Daily Bulletin was one of the unfortunate enter- 
prises connected with Ben Holladay's movements in Oregon. In 
furtherance of his vast schemes he estimated at its full value the aid 
of a newspaper which would be absolutely within his control. With 
this idea in view he purchased the plant which had been used in the 
publication of the San Francisco Times and removed it to Portland. 
The Bulletin made its appearance in 1870, with James O'Meara as 
editor. In 1872, H. W. Scott was associated in the editorship, but 
remained only a few months when T. B. Odeneal took charge. 
Under OdeneaPs editorial management the paper continued until it 
suspended publication in October, 1875. It was one of the most 
disasterous ventures in the history of Portland journalism, having 
cost nearly $200,000, more than its entire income during the brief 
years of its existence. The plant was sold at auction, and was 
scattered throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho and is still 
doing its duty in connection with country journalism. 

Two more dailies made their appearance in 1875, The Daily Bee 
and the Daily Evening Journal. The Bee was first issued Novem- 
ber 2, 1875, It was a diminutive paper to begin with and was 
circulated free by its publisher, D. H. Stearns, until December, of 
the same year, when it was enlarged and run as a Republican journal. 
During the greater part of its existence it was controlled by Mr. 
Stearns, but in the meantime it was at different times published by 
companies and for about eighteen months was owned by W. S. 
Chapman. In 1878 Chapman sold it back to Stearns who continued 
its publication until June, 1880, when he disposed of it to Atkinson 
& Farrish. The last named proprietors, in August, 1880, changed 
its name to the Portland Bulletin, and for a year or two thereafter it 
appeared under this name, finally suspending in the latter part of 

420 History of Portland. 

The Daily Evening Journal had an existence of only a few 
months, being purchased in July, 1876, by A. Noltner, who six 
months previously had commenced the publication of the Weekly 
Standard. After the purchase of the Journal, the Standard was 
issued as a daily evening paper until September, 1879, when it was 
changed to a morning publication. Under Mr. Noltner' s manage- 
ment the Standard became one of the best known papers the 
Democrats have ever had in Oregon. For a time it was the official 
paper of the city and enjoyed a well merited period of prosperity. 
In June, 1885, Mr. Noltner sold the paper to S. B. Pettingill, who 
continued it as editor and proprietor, until February, 1886, when 
it ceased to exist. 

The Evening Post, Daily Evening Chronicle and the Northwest 
News complete the list of Portland dailies which for a time were 
published, but for various reasons were not successful. The Post 
made its appearance in March, 1882, with Nat L,. Baker as editor, 
but like the Chronicle, which appeared about two years later under 
E. G. Jones as proprietor, it had an existence of only a few months. 
The News had a much more extended and interesting history. It 
appeared, in January, 1883, with Nathan Cole as editor. Mr. Cole, 
who came from St. Louis, conducted the paper about a year and a 
half when it was sold to Francis M. Thayer and A. N. Hamilton, 
both of whom had had experience in journalism, the former at 
Evansville, Indiana, and the latter at Salt Lake, Utah. Mr. Thayer 
assumed the editorial and Mr. Hamilton the business management of 
the paper. After more than two years experience and the expenditure 
of large sums of money in conducting the paper, and failing to 
make it a success, they sold out to a stock company, composed of 
a number of the leading republican politicians of the city. Under 
the new order of things James O'Meara was selected as editor and J. 
D. Wilcox became business manager. As a financial venture the 
paper did not improve under the new management. It continued to 
be a great absorber of capital with no adequate returns for the money 
invested. This state of affairs continued until the . stockholders 
refused to advance the necessary funds to keep it alive and in conse- 
quence it suspended in Odlober, 1888, having cost from the time it 

The Press. 421 

was started until its career closed, more than $200,000, above its 
entire receipts. 

Among Portland publications, not previously mentioned and other 
than the daily papers, the Oregon Deutsch Zeitung, a weekly German 
paper, comes next in chronological order. It was issued in the early- 
part of 1867 by C. A. louden berger, by whom its publication was 
continued until it suspended in 1884. It was the first paper printed 
in the German language in Portland. The Staats Zeitung, another 
German weekly, was first issued in October, 1877 with Dr. J. 
Folkman as editor and proprietor. This publication has since been 
continued and is recognized as the leading German paper in the State. 
A daily issue was commenced in December, 1887, and has proven a 
successful venture. Dr. Folkman is still editor and proprietor, but is 
assisted in the editorial management by F. A. Myer. 

Portland has still another German weekly, the Freie Press, which 
was established in March, 1885, by vonOtterstedt & Sittig. Von 
Otterstedt has since retired and Bruno Sittig has become sole 

The decade from 1870 to 1880 witnessed the birth of numerous 
weeklies, some of which still survive, but most of them are either 
dead or have been merged in other publications. The following 
comprises, the names under which they originally appeared: 
Catholic Sentinel, Pacihc Rural Press, Columbia Churchman, New 
Northwest, Sunday Welcome, Commercial Reporter, Monthly 
Musical Journal, North Pacific Rural Spirit, Good Templar, 
Sunday Mercury, West Shore, Temperance Star, Northwest Farmer 
and Dairyman, Weekly News, Willamette Farmer, The Churchman, 
Oregon Literary Vidette, East Portland Call, The Vindicator, and 
Democratic Era- Of the foregoing, the Catholic Sentinel was started 
in February, 1870, under the immediate encouragement and 
authority of Very Rev. J. F. Fierens, Vicar General and then acting 
Bishop of Oregon. The inception of the enterprise was due to H. 
L. Herman and J. F. Atkinson, who were the publishers for the first 
two years of its existence. Mr. Herman continued the publication 
for a few years after Mr. Atkinson withdrew, and until a joint stock 
company composed of the archbishops of the diocese, the 

422 History of Portland. 

Bishops of Vancouver and Nesqually and the Catholic clergy 
generally, took control of the paper. In 1881 Joseph R. Wiley 
became editor. He was succeeded by the present editor, M. G. 
Munly, in February, 1886. The Sentinel is devoted to the dissemi- 
nation of religious matters pertaining to the Catholic Chu